When it comes to making the switch to electromobility, fleet managers are keen to obtain answers not only on which vehicle is right for them but also to a whole host of other questions. For example, on the topic of charging infrastructure. Or the building measures and investments which are involved when implementing centralised depot charging of a truck fleet on the company’s own premises. “In view of the complexity of the associated processes, a decisive issue is correctly setting oneself up in advance for optimal use and integration of fully electric vehicles in the fleet,” points out Andreas von Wallfeld, Head of Marketing, Sales and Services at Mercedes-Benz Trucks. “In order to be able to assist our customers with all manner of questions concerning planning, application and implementation processes concerning charging infrastructure, as well as with connection to the electrical network, we have entered into a strategic partnership with Siemens Smart Infrastructure, ENGIE and EVBox Group,” continues Wallfeld. They fit in perfectly with the aspiration of Mercedes-Benz Trucks to provide fleet operators with more than just vehicle concepts when it comes to electromobility.
To this end, Mercedes-Benz Trucks has developed a comprehensive ecosystem under the name eConsulting which provides customers with advice and infrastructure offers. The products and services of the selected partners were extensively verified by Mercedes-Benz Trucks for interoperability and future-proofing of the charging devices for use with all current and future electrically operated commercial vehicles from Mercedes-Benz. What’s more, numerous compatibility tests were successfully concluded with the charging management system from Mercedes-Benz Trucks. Some of the tests took place as part of the eActros innovation fleet pilot project which ran for more than two years at various customer locations around Europe. In 2021, the eActros celebrated its world premiere as a series-produced vehicle.
Holistic approach to advice
The strategic partnership was consciously developed by Mercedes-Benz Trucks. Experience obtained from numerous discussions with transport businesses showed that, in particular, the question of complementary charging infrastructure was of central concern to fleet operators. “We want to handle any concerns our customers may have in relation to this and simultaneously offer them the assurance that our Full-Service offer will accompany them in all areas of their journey into the electric future of transportation,” says Andreas von Wallfeld.
Here, the eConsulting team from Mercedes-Benz Trucks initially looks at the customer’s existing routes to determine a realistic and meaningful usage profile for electric trucks at their location. If the customer makes use of the services provided by Siemens Smart Infrastructure, ENGIE or EVBox Group, these partners will look after the analysis of the depots and the establishment of suitable infrastructure and energy supply, together with intelligent hardware and software-based charging solutions. They also look after maintenance and servicing of the charging infrastructure. Siemens Smart Infrastructure, ENGIE and EVBox Group collaborate closely with Mercedes-Benz Trucks in all phases of the process. In the event of problems when charging a truck, or problems with the charging infrastructure or software, the customer can rely on a defined contact person.
A further component of the eConsulting setup is the Charge Management System developed individually by Mercedes-Benz Trucks. This allows such things as charging profiles to be created in order to use the available output of the electrical connection as economically as possible. What’re more, the system enables convenient remote starting and monitoring of charging processes. Plus, eConsulting from Mercedes-Benz Trucks includes advice on optimising the overall operating costs as well as verification of any financial grants which may be available for the infrastructure. All from a single source and all with the aim of taking fleet providers into a sustainable future.