A personal field report from driving instructor Michael Jajszycek
Michael Jajszycek set out from Leipzig to collect our first series-produced eActros from the Mercedes-Benz Trucks customer center in Wörth. As a driving instructor for DB Schenker, Jajszycek is responsible for explaining the new vehicle to our drivers, which is a particularly exciting task, as it is a brand-new electric truck. Learn about his experiences, as well as some interesting facts about our newest vehicle, in the field report picture series he prepared for us.
Following a comprehensive theoretical briefing by a Mercedes-Benz Trucks representative, it was time to meet the new vehicle in person at the Mercedes-Benz Trucks customer center in Wörth. And there it was – the first series-produced eActros for DB Schenker. Mercedes-Benz Trucks also went the extra mile to stage the historic handover in a very dignified manner. The handover was followed by a thorough practical briefing in which all the features and functions in the truck were explained. Of course, a test drive was a must as well. Many thanks to Mercedes-Benz Trucks for the successful handover! Then it was time for the truck to hit the road. This was an absolute highlight, as the eActros is the first series-produced green Actros in the DB Schenker fleet. First stop: the Alpha Rotex Tower in Frankfurt. Our eActros can drive more than 300 km at a stretch and can be “refueled” at normal e-charging stations. The first 160 kilometers or so on the way to Frankfurt were therefore a breeze. In Frankfurt, we set up our electric fleet for a group photo, and guests and visitors were able to take a few test drives as well. Of course, our electrically assisted cargo bike, which can transport up to two Euro pallets, was also on hand. Ralf Többe, Head of Land Transport at DB Schenker Germany/Switzerland, wasn’t about to miss out on the opportunity to drive a lap with the Volta truck. But now back to the eActros…. In the evening, our eActros got its first “fill-up” at a charging station. It was simple: All we had to do was hold the charging card up to the station, select the charging plug, connect it to the truck – and that was it. Drivers of electric cars who passed by were puzzled when they saw an electric truck at the charging station, and I therefore had some explaining to do. The next day, I set off at 5:49 a.m. from Frankfurt to Leipzig, a distance of about 400 kilometers. Snow began to fall shortly after I left Frankfurt, so weather conditions were exceptional for the first long distance trip – a real endurance test. 186 kilometers later, I located the first charging station at the Werratal Süd rest stop. Here, too, our eActros was the center of attention. A Tesla driver arrived at the charging station, jumped out of his car, and ran indignantly to the truck, suspecting I was blocking the charging station for no good reason: “Oh, an electric truck,” he then said quietly. He probably hadn’t expected that. After one hour and 22 minutes of charging (from 42% to 100%), it was time to get back on the road. At Apolda, we stopped at a parking area because the distance sensor needed to be cleaned. Although three charging stations were identified on the route in advance (just to be on the safe side), a second charge wasn’t necessary. Arriving at the office in Leipzig – 208 km after the last charge – the speedometer still showed a range of 113 km at 38% charge capacity, despite the cold and snow. This means that even in extreme temperatures, the eActros can cover more than 300 kilometers. So, the first long distance trip (394 km in 5 hours and 41 minutes at an average of 98.5 kWh/100 km) was successfully mastered. Later on, we worked with a Siemens technician to put our own DB Schenker charging station into operation. Here, too, everything worked smoothly. Many thanks to everyone who made this handover a success!