Mercedes-Benz Trucks has taken two electric eActros trucks to the home of Santa Claus in the Arctic Circle to test their performance in temperatures below 25 degrees Celsius.

The manufacturer’s Winter Test team headed to Rovaniemi in Finland - known as the capital of Father Christmas – to winter test prototypes of the eActros LongHaul and the eActros 300 as a tractor unit.

Both vehicles, along with a diesel powered Actros L, were put through their paces in extreme Artic conditions, braving snow, ice and slush to test their ability to weather sub-zero temperatures.

The tests focused on the handling, ergonomics and comfort of the vehicles in the as well as their starting properties, thermal management, charging properties and the performance of various sensors.

Dr Christof Weber, head of global testing at Mercedes-Benz Trucks, said: “Testing our product range under extreme winter conditions is also an essential part of our vehicle development in terms of alternative drives.

“Haulage companies must be able to rely on our electric trucks in a highly competitive environment at any time of year, just as they are used to from conventionally powered vehicles."

In the case of the eActros LongHaul and the eActros 300 Tractor, experts paid particular attention to the battery properties and the electric drivetrain on site in adverse weather conditions.

To this end, elements including starting properties and drive components' protection from low temperatures, software and interfaces were tested.

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Thermal and energy management systems were also subjected to intensive testing to ensure that both the drivetrain and the driver’s cab are temperature-controlled correctly and energy-efficiently, even at low temperatures.

Dr Weber added: “We are very satisfied with our test results. The tests of the batteries and electric drivetrain properties at extreme temperatures or of the vehicle's driving properties on slick, icy roads show: Even in very wintry conditions, our battery-powered trucks are fully operational."

The winter test also included tests on driving and braking properties on surfaces with different levels of grip as well as the impact of slush on the effectiveness of the sensors of driver assistance systems.

The team also tested the Trailer Stability Assistant, which can reduce the risk of tractor-trailers skidding during cornering or evasive maneouvers on winter roads and studies how the MirrorCam handles different contrast conditions on ice and snow.

The eActros 300 tractor unit, revealed for the first time at IAA Transportation 2022 in Hanover, can pull all common European semitrailers and is based on the same technology as the eActros 300/400.

It has three battery packs, each with 112 kWh of installed battery capacity, giving it a range of up to 220km on a single battery charge. Series production is scheduled to start in the second half of 2023.

The eActros LongHaul is scheduled to be ready for series production for long-distance transport in 2024.

Mercedes-Benz Trucks unveiled a concept prototype of the electric truck at IAA Transportation in Hanover last year.

The series-production eActros LongHaul boasts a range of around 500 kilometers on a single battery charge and will enable high-performance charging.

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