Daimler starts rapid charge systems for headquarters

Mercedes-Benz Trucks and vans under their parent umbrella Daimler has opened a new charging park for electric trucks and vans at their headquarters in Stuttgart-Untertürkheim in Southern Germany. The station is to be used by both commercial vehicle divisions ( although vans are now under the passnger car company) and the charging stations will be used jointly as part of the research and development programme.

Of course, as those intimatley involved in the elctrification of commercial vehicles will be aware, especially those involved in the heavy truck side of the business, electrification of the vehicle is the relativitely simple end of the developmnet. The fun starts when a battery along the lines of 300wKh and greater needs charging and within certain key criteria, such as a defined timescale so basically we are talking about infrastructure development.

This new charging park will be a further step in the electrification strategy and connected corporate activities and will help Daimler not just at the infrastructure side but perhaps the most important aspect of the whole commercial vehicle electrification, the software integration.

The innovative charging stations have a total output of 1 megawatt, distributed to two DC fast charging stations with 300 kilowatts each for trucks, and three more charging stations with 150 kilowatt output each for vans. When the vehicle is connected to an appropriate station, the charging process is started via a chip by which the station recognises the respective vehicle automatically. The stations are equipped with all common plug variants for electric trucks.

Rapid DC charging at 300kW is consided by many to be very intensive and potentially has its challenges on the long term lifecycle of the battery but it would be, in theory, a very practical solution in some cases.

We believe Paccar with their Peterbilt EV520 refuse ( garbage) truck has a similiar type DC charging capability under development and refuse trucks in general, along with buses are the most obvious initial benefactors of this type of charging. Although people will point to the fact that many refuse vehicles have a low duty cycle and therefore spend a lot of time at the depot so slow AC charging is a lot more practical.

Tim Campbell is the Managing Director of Campbells Consultancy, a globally-renowned consultancy company dedicated to the electrification of the commercial vehicle industry and publishers of Electric Van & Truck. 

You may contact Tim by telephone (+44 1772 286225) or email (tim@campbellsconsultancy.com) or, alternatively, visit his company’s website (www.campbellsconsultancy.com).

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