Mercedes-Benz will have its first eActros Long Haul on the road by 2024. It will have a range of around 500kms and a new e-axle with two e-motors of 200kW each, a new HV topology of 800V, which will lead to faster charging capabilities, a payload of 22 tonnes for the 40-tonne truck and the same lifespan plan as diesel of 1.2 million kms over 10 years.

Professor Dr Uwe Baake, Mercedes-Benz Trucks head of product engineering, pictured, revealed plans for the new heavy electric truck at a roundtable with five leading operators held in association with Motor Transport last month.

Uwe Baake

"Our ambition is for all of our new trucks in Europe to be CO2 neutral by 2039 and to do that our plan is to develop battery-powered trucks and hydrogen-fuelled trucks - we see those two technologies as complementary," Bakke continued. "Our innovation fleet of eActros is already a great success story and as our customers share their experience with us we can improve our series.

"So what is next? I cannot reveal too much, but the Generation Two official launch is this June."

Baake also revealed that Mercedes-Benz will also have an "innovation fleet" of hydrogen-fuelled trucks on the road by the beginning of 2024 to "provide the feedback for the final development phase of the series which we plan to produce in the second half of the decade. Our preference is liquid hydrogen in order to get a range of more than 1,000km".

Mercedes-Benz has chosen hydrogen because it offers a greater range and a higher payload of 25 tonnes. "Unlike our competitors, we are not prepared to use bridging technologies such as gas or hybrids," said Baake. "Our ambition is to take the fastest way to carbon neutrality and to do that we need this technology. Hopefully it will be on our roads by 2030."

See MT April 26 for a write up of the roundtable and go to our YouTube channel for edited highlights of the event