Mercedes-Benz Trucks’ eActros LongHaul – a concept prototype for heavy-duty long-distance transport – has won the 2023 Truck Innovation Award. The much coveted trophy was presented to Karin Rådström, CEO Mercedes-Benz Trucks, during the IAA Transportation’s press day in Hanover, Germany.
The Truck Innovation Award – which acknowledges the enormous technological changes and energy transition within the automotive sector – has been awarded by the International Truck of the Year (IToY) jury. This group comprises 25 commercial vehicle editors and senior journalists representing major road transport magazines from Europe and South Africa.
With a winning score of 112 votes, Mercedes-Benz Trucks’ battery-electric truck (BEV) fought off the competition from ZF eTrailer, the full-electric Volta Trucks Zero range, and Faun Enginius fuel-cell powered vehicles for municipal missions.
The IToY journalists praised the advanced characteristics of the eActros LongHaul, which employs fast-charging long-service life lithium-iron phosphate cell technology (LFP), and the speed of Mercedes-Benz Trucks’ R&D process. Indeed, announced for the first time in 2020, the eActros LongHaul is already undergoing intensive testing, will hit public roads this year, and near-production prototypes will go to customers for real-world use testing in 2023. The ITOY journalists also appreciated the compact dimensions of the tractor unit, which, within a wheelbase of 4 metres, accommodates three battery packs with a total installed capacity of over 600 kWh and two electric motors, as part of a new e-axle, with a continuous output of 400 kW.
Summing up the jury vote, International Truck of the Year Chairman Gianenrico Griffini commented: “The Mercedes-Benz eActros LongHaul opens a new chapter towards e-mobility. It’s proof that the transition to CO2-neutral long-haul transport is an achievable target, relying on hi-tech solutions and continuous R&D efforts.”
According to IToY rules, a Truck Innovation Award nominee must be an advanced-technology vehicle with a gross vehicle weight of over 3.5-tonnes fitted with an alternative driveline or fuel system. Otherwise, it must feature specific high-tech solutions concerning connectivity (semi- or fully autonomous driving systems), platooning capability, or advanced support services such as remote diagnostics.