Well advised with e-Truck Consulting from Daimler Truck AG.
Charging instead of refueling, different handling, new technology - anyone who is interested in an eTruck is entering new territory in many respects. This is where the eConsulting team at Mercedes-Benz Trucks comes in. Their job is to help customers on their journey to eMobility. In this interview, Angelika Wetzel from the eConsulting team and eEconic product manager Linda Fritzenwanker reveal to us, among other things, why no two consultations are alike.
Angelika Wetzel and Linda Fritzenwanker in an interview.
Ms. Wetzel, you advise customers on their journey to electrifying their fleet. What exactly does that involve?
Angelika Wetzel: The acquisition of an eTruck usually presents transport companies with many challenges at first. Which routes can I use my electric truck on? What charging infrastructure do I need? What construction measures and investments should I expect for charging in my own depot?
We assist our customers with precisely these questions, on an individual basis. Because one thing is certain: An electrified truck has to pay off for transport operators in their day-to-day operations. That's why we don't just put an eTruck in our customers' yards, but accompany them step by step on their journey to electromobility - from route analysis and selecting the right charging infrastructure to applying for subsidies. We want our customers to receive everything they need from a single source in order to get the most out of their vehicle and utilize their truck to its full potential. To this end, we offer them various consulting packages and digital services.
And what does this consulting service look like in practice?
Angelika Wetzel: Basically, we shed light on the entire ecosystem surrounding the eTruck and provide our customers with solutions that are tailored to their needs. First of all, we look at what our customers' use cases and routes look like in detail today. Based on this analysis, we then determine a realistic and meaningful usage profile for the electric truck. In the next step, we define the appropriate infrastructure that the customer needs for their eTruck. This includes suitable charging options and scenarios, among other things. In this area, we usually advise our customers in close cooperation with our partners Siemens Smart Infrastructure, ENGIE and EVBox Group.
Linda Fritzenwanker: Since our eEconic customers are mainly from the municipal sector, the topic of charging infrastructure plays a special role. Municipal customers have often already dealt with this issue and even installed their own infrastructure. Depending on the planned fleet size, we advise on the necessary capacities for the power supply and develop the appropriate charging and depot management together with the customer. This includes questions about the most sensible time to charge the vehicles or whether it is possible to charge the eTrucks economically overnight. Especially in the waste management sector, there are special requirements such as working in shifts, with fixed routes and the simultaneous end of the shift in the depot.
Angelika Wetzel: Naturally, our consultations are always about the costs that transportation companies face. After all, it is also enormously important for our customers to have as much transparency as possible regarding their future cost structure. To do this, we also look at what opportunities there are to optimize the total cost of ownership, for example through subsidies. We also help our customers to identify and exploit suitable funding opportunities in their region.
The acceptance of e-Trucks increases over the course of a collaboration.
Linda Fritzenwanker, Produkt Manager eEconic, Daimler Truck AG
That sounds like quite a bit of theory up front.
Angelika Wetzel:Yes, definitely. But that is by no means the end of our work. For example, we discuss with our customers which eServices and telematics applications are suitable for them. Mercedes-Benz Uptime and Fleetboard will be available for the eEconic. We also offer transport companies new digital services, such as our Charge Management Service. With this service, our customers can observe their eTruck fleet and their charging infrastructure and remotely control and optimize it.
For our customers to really get the most out of their vehicle, we will offer them tailored training before the delivery of their eActros. It will then deal, for example, with safety in relation to high voltage, but also with the optimal driving and charging of the eTruck. Our Services are also discussed in detail in order to ensure a smooth flow of the logistics steps.
What makes the new eEconic special?
Learn more about vehicle features and technical data of the all-electric commercial vehicle.
What feedback do you get from your customers?
Angelika Wetzel: The response to our offer has been consistently positive. We are told time and again that our consulting services make it much easier for our customers to get started with electromobility, and that we provide them with great added value. Many customers see it as a very positive thing that we don't just focus on pure sales, but can also offer a solution for all questions relating to the vehicle.
Linda Fritzenwanker: It is interesting that we can often observe that the acceptance of eTrucks increases over the course of a collaboration. Because one thing must not be forgotten: Many transport companies and some waste disposal companies are still in the early stages when it comes to electromobility. Above all, the issues surrounding charging infrastructure, grid connection and energy management are new to many customers. Besides, no two customers are alike. It is very important to respond to the individual needs and use cases of each customer. Because one thing is certain: here is no standard solution for electromobility.
"In the early stages" is a good keyword: What are your next big milestones?
Angelika Wetzel: We expect that this will give our offering a further boost, and that the topic will continue to gain momentum. We have also been working for some time on passing on our knowledge to our colleagues in the European markets. Our goal is that in each of our European markets, our colleagues should be able to provide our customers with comprehensive, individual and market-specific advice.