A certified DEKRA test drive compared truck models of the past 20 years. The result: Mercedes-Benz Trucks helped save over 50 million tons of CO₂ thanks to continuous developments. Diesel consumption dropped by 22 percent.
In August 2016 three Mercedes-Benz trucks made in 1996, 2003, and 2016 respectively faced comparison by Deutsche Kraftfahrzeugüberwachungs-Verein e.V. (DEKRA). The test took place on "Lastauto Omnibus" (LaO) specialist magazine's very own race track.
The results are a reward for the financial and technical investments by Mercedes-Benz over the past decades. Consequently, DEKRA certifies that the cut in consumption in the most recent generation Mercedes-Benz Actros amounts to 22 percent compared with the basic vehicle made in 1996. The trucks covered 1,536 test kilometers with a total weight of 40 tons. In this process, the Type 1844 Mercedes-Benz SK consumed 40.8 l/100 km, the Mercedes-Benz Actros 1846 Euro III 37.4 l/100 km, and the most recent Actros 1845 Euro V 31.9 l/100 km. Converted to CO₂ Mercedes-Benz saved over 50 million tons of CO₂ between 1996 and today.
The test structure was based on the predefined LaO basic specifications for all on-road consumption and driving performance measurements. Head of testing Frank Zeitzen accurately specified the driving style. Recording equipment permanently monitored test drivers' driving styles. Cruise control or Predictive Powertrain Control was used to maintain the speed. Each of the three truck generations pulled a load of 32 tons.
Michelin tires were adapted per year of manufacture to illustrate the progress made in terms of rolling response. Consequently, the basic SK 1844 variant was equipped with the contemporary XZA/XDA tire or the Actros 1846 ran on multiway tires.
On each evening, vehicles were refueled as per an accurate refueling process involving temperature compensation.
Thanks to thorough test preparations and its stringent implementation the results from the on-road test are relevant to practical application. However, consumption values may differ on other routes and test tracks. The Actros Euro VI had a mere 8,000 km of mileage on the clock at the time of the test. Such a low mileage was a disadvantage as the best consumption values are usually achieved after approximately 50,000 km.
 These calculations are based on sales of approximately one million Mercedes-Benz trucks in Europe's long-haul segment between 1996 and today, an estimated mileage of 75 000 km per vehicle, and a usage period of eight years. The fuel consumption measured by DEKRA for 1996, 2003 and 2016 has been continued as part of a linear function.