Smart power management.

World premieres, one after another.

Innovations like the Urban eTruck and Future Bus, strategic initiatives for the future like adVANce and services such as CAR2SHARE cargo underline the passion at Mercedes-Benz for regularly reinventing mobility. The Motor Show in Paris was also the scene of a world premiere and a preview of the future. Dr Zetsche presented the new Generation EQ and the new corporate strategy of Mercedes-Benz Cars: CASE. We don’t want to bore you here by rattling off a series of events you know all about, but we must tell you about a really special highlight that connects all electrically powered commercial vehicles and opens up a whole range of business opportunities: Truck2Grid.

Electric camels.

In principle, electrically powered vehicles like the Urban eTruck are like camels. They carry heavy loads and store the energy the need to keep going in a unique way. First off, we would like to do away with a common misconception: Camels store fat in their humps, not water. Nevertheless, they can drink up to 200 litres of water in 15 minutes without collapsing from overhydration. Thanks to these fat and water reserves, a camel can go without water or food for a whole three days while carrying loads weighing up to 450 kilograms. This is very similar to what the Urban eTruck can do with its modular lithium-ion battery concept, which enables the truck to transport loads of up to 12.8 tonnes for a distance of 200 kilometres without stopping to recharge.

There’s another thing it can do that camels can’t, and it delights operators who count every penny – thanks to the Truck2Grid energy management strategy, they can return the power stored in their batteries to the grid for other uses and users.

Mobile charging stations.

Anyone with business sense knows that higher demand brings higher prices. This also applies to electricity. With the help of the batteries of the Urban eTruck, operators can avoid expensive peak charging times with a smart charging strategy that lets the customers use the truck’s batteries while it’s parked to provide paid energy services. This transforms the trucks into mobile battery packs.

Energy reserves from storage systems can then be used to take advantage of cheaper power from the grid for recharging at off-peak times. Both from Mercedes-Benz stationary energy storage units and the batteries installed in the Urban eTruck.

Peak shaving reduces power costs.

Truck2Grid energy management, a concept developed by Daimler Business Innovations, is based on predicted power consumption. First of all, smart algorithms determine how much power is used at particular times and what it costs. Displayed on a graph, this shows a series of peaks and troughs against time. The peaks on the time axis show the times when power consumption is highest. In contrast, as might be expected, the troughs on the graph show when power consumption is low.

Considering the amplitudes of the peaks and troughs, intelligent energy management determines the ideal times for recharging the batteries and providing power to other systems. A look at the graph after this shows truncated peak amplitudes. This is what we call “Peak Shaving”.

A new approach.

Thanks to Peak Shaving, operators can cut their costs by avoiding peak demand times on the grid – and higher costs per kWh – and take advantage of power from energy storage units or the batteries in the trucks. In effect, Truck2Grid is a combination of fleet and energy management. Now imagine Truck2Grid technology as a solution for all types of electrically powered vehicles. This would be an entirely new approach to smart urban mobility for the world of tomorrow.

Toyota already presented their vision for private cars at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show. More recently, our colleagues from Mercedes-Benz presented an expanded concept for commercial vehicles like vans and buses at IAA 2016. As usual, we will present you breaking news of the latest developments in this area.