As green as it gets
The Mercedes-Benz Actros 1851 GigaSpace has been crowned the most eco-friendly commercial vehicle of 2013 in Europe. The Euro 6-compliant truck achieved this during its first year on the road thanks to its low fuel consumption – as proved in independent vehicle tests last year.
Dr Jörg Zürn, head of truck product engineering: heavy- and medium-duty platform, comments: “The award of the ‘Green Truck 2013’ title to the Mercedes-Benz Actros 1851 GigaSpace provides conclusive, independent confirmation of the development work we have undertaken with the objective of creating a new, environmentally compatible truck that would comply with the Euro-6 emissions standards. This is further reinforced by the news that two other variants of the Actros are also to be found in the top 10 of this environmental ranking.”
Key criteria for the assessment include the vehicle’s fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, with additional factors comprising its exhaust emission classification and maximum payload. The basis for the calculation of the fuel consumption figures was provided by the test results recorded by German specialist truck magazines VerkehrsRundschau and Trucker on a standardised route.
Contributing significantly to the results, which showed the fuel consumption of the Actros to be almost a full litre lower than that of the second-placed vehicle, was the “anticipatory” cruise control system Predictive Powertrain Control (PPC). PPC recognises the topography of the route ahead and acts to deliver optimum fuel consumption.
The new driver assistance system shows its strengths particularly on hilly routes. The first GPS-based cruise control system in the world, PPC not only intervenes in the straightforward control of speed and braking, but also controls the transmission. As an extension of the EcoRoll function (a standard feature of the Actros that plays an active part in reducing fuel consumption), the system can also very cleverly (when it deems it necessary) insert single or double downshifts at precisely the right moment.
Zürn adds that the Actros was also able to demonstrate the achievement of significant fuel savings right after its world premiere back in 2011. In a comparison drive over 10 000 km between Rotterdam (in the Netherlands) and Stettin (in Germany), monitored by the German professional automotive services organisation Dekra, the Actros 1845 LS BlueTec 6 demonstrated an advantage of 4,5 percent in fuel consumption over the Euro-5 model of the previous Actros series.