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Mercedes debuts its first fully electric semi truck in Europe

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Mercedes-Benz has been hard at work on an electric heavy-duty truck that it hopes will be the start of a new era for trucking (in Europe, at least). The truck is called the eActros, and it’s the first electric truck to wear the three-pointed star, the company announced Wednesday.

Of course, it’s not the first heavy-duty electric truck from Mercedes’ parent company Daimler. That honor goes to the Freightliner eCascadia and eM2. Still, the eActros looks to be pretty impressive, thanks to its 249-mile range. That range may not seem that awesome to people used to looking at Tesla ranges, but for something as big as a semi truck, it’s damned good.

That range is possible thanks to eActros’ giant 420-kilowatt-hour battery pack, which Mercedes claims can be fast-charged from 20% to 80% in an hour. That kind of turnaround is likely to be vital when trying to convince companies to adopt new technology when time is money. The eActros is also available with smaller battery pack sizes for the kinds of operations where maximum range isn’t as critical.

As part of the push to have the truck adopted by businesses, Mercedes is offering a suite of support services to help those companies transition their fleets to electric vehicles. These services include consultation to help set up a charging infrastructure and working out the planning necessary to get the most use out of each truck since it’s not making money if it’s not being driven.

Mercedes plans to launch the eActros this fall and sell it in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Great Britain, Denmark, Norway and Sweden to start. There’s no word yet if it’ll come stateside, but given Freightliner’s work here, we kind of doubt it.

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