“The latest Mercedes-Benz Actros, International Truck of the Year 2020 (ITOY), is well on its way to gaining marketshare,” stated Stefan Buchner, Head of Daimler Trucks at a product update briefing in Stuttgart to members of the ITOY jury. “We are proud that we set standards again in providing customers with an improved offering in terms of fuel efficiency, safety, comfort and uptime. Items such as the award winning MirrorCam, Predictive Powertrain Control, Active Drive Assist, Active Brake Assist 5 (ABA5) and the Multimedia Cockpit come to mind, in our effort to increase traffic safety even further,” he added. “Our vision is accident-free driving, any accident is one too many, their avoidance is our social responsibility. Developing new active assistance systems and putting existing systems into use in as many vehicles as possible as quickly as possible will help us get there.”
Last November, Mercedes-Benz introduced Safeguard Assist as a retrofit solution for the Actros, Arocs and Econic models (from 2017) and as of January 2020, ABA5 has become standard on all new Actros.
Looking beyond Europe, and the Actros range is set to go on sale in Brazil, a recovering economy and one of the biggest markets for Mercedes-Benz Trucks. “The models marketed will be tailor-made with features based on the needs of our Brazilian customers and global DNA.”
Looking towards the future and Daimler’s goal of achieving CO2 neutral transport, Stefan said that Daimler Trucks will develop a wide range of vehicles with two sources of electric powertrains, battery and fuel cell relevant for every segment and market. He discarded natural gas as an option as it depends on fossil sources. “Other OEMs are looking to natural gas, but not Daimler. There is some positive news to come from us pre-IAA,” he added.
In the meantime, the new eActros, introduced to ten key customers in Germany in a field-test project, has progressed well with positive feedback from the participants. “Some have chalked up six-digit numbers of kilometres and counting.” Stefan said. “What we learned is that the eActros’ range of 200km is a reasonable user case, with no limitations during summer/winter peaks, with the high torque and smooth handling credited.” eActros will go into full production by end of 2020 with sales in early 2021.
Next in line is the arrival of the eEconic, an all-electric municipal vehicle, totally CO2 neutral and quiet. Field tests will start in 2021 with sales beginning the following year. Stefan mentioned that the UK market will be targeted strongly as the Econic meets London’s truck cab high visibility requirements. Based on the eActros, it will benefit from Daimler’s global platform strategy. “There’s more to come,” stressed Stefan in terms of technology and connected services amongst others.