The eActros battery-powered trucks are capable of driving almost 250 miles on a single charge and are scheduled for delivery to customers from May

Mercedes-Benz Trucks has opened-up the order book for its “ground-breaking” new fully-electric lorries in the UK, with a view to delivering the first set of its zero-emission models to customers from May, it announced yesterday.

Aimed at fleet operators requiring heavy-duty, short-haul distribution, the battery-powered eActros trucks produce zero tailpipe emissions and are capable of driving almost 250 miles on a single charge, according to the automotive giant.

The heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) are now available to order in two sizes, either as a 4×2 chassis weighing in at 19-tonnes and boasting three battery packs, or as a larger 27-tonne, 6×2 chassis model with six wheels and either three or four battery packs.

Each battery pack has an installed energy capacity of 112kWh and a useable capacity of 97kWh, which means the eActros with three battery packs can travel up to 300km on a single charge, while the model with four battery packs can manage up to 400km on a single charge, the firm said.

The electric trucks can be recharged within just over an hour from 20 to 80 per cent battery capacity when connected to a regular 400A DC charging station, although the company said they are also compatible with faster, 160kW chargers.

“The eActros is a new truck for a new era,” said Ross Paterson, head of special trucks at Mercedes-Benz Trucks UK. “It represents an important step towards our goal of offering an entirely CO2-neutral product range by 2039, which we’ll achieve using a combination of battery-electric and hydrogen fuel cell technology.”

The company is also promising comprehensive training for drivers and operators, providing guidance on how to use charging infrastructure and a range of digital services to boost efficient use of the vehicles and “optimise the total cost of ownership”, Paterson said.

“We are committed to supporting our customers by making their transitions from diesel to electric power as easy and seamless as possible,” he explained.

While the electric car market has gone from strength to strength in recent years, it is only recently that heavier fully-electric, battery-powered road vehicles have started to come to market. In January, Tesco claimed the first commercial use of fully-electric articulated lorries in the UK with the deployment of two HGVs to help supply its distribution centre in South Wales.

James Venables, e-consultancy manager at Mercedes-Benz Trucks UK, said that in his 20 years at the firm he had “never been more excited than I am right now”.

“Following extensive European trials in the harshest operating conditions, the time is right to bring the eActros to UK operators,” he said. “We’re confident it’s the right truck for our customers, with the right powertrain, the right range and the right payload capacity.”

He added: “Starting sales of the eActros is an important step in our journey to zero-emission trucking and we’re eager to see the first units on UK roads.”

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