MAN Truck & Bus
MAN Truck & Bus
“Finally some good news after two years,” said a cheerful Dr. Markus Söder, Bavarian Prime Minister, to the assembled workforce at the MAN plant in Nuremberg. The reason for the high attendance and the good mood? “Battery cell production is coming to Nuremberg,” announced MAN works council Chairman Markus Wansch earlier, to loud applause. The message this sends is that MAN is ready for the climate-neutral mobility of the future. The planned battery cell production at the tradition-steeped Nuremberg site will secure jobs and “start a new chapter for MAN”, according to MAN Truck & Bus SE Chairman Alexander Vlaskamp.
29th June 2022 will go down in the history of MAN in Nuremberg as an important moment; a milestone in the transformation of the brand into a provider of sustainable and environmentally friendly transport solutions. From 2025, around 100,000 batteries per year will be mass-produced here. The foundation stone has been laid for the large-scale industrialisation of electric drives at MAN.
I think this is a super signal for Nuremberg and Bavaria, because it secures MAN’s future.
MAN has a future - Bavaria's Minister President Dr. Markus Söder is certain of that. High-voltage batteries will be manufactured in Nuremberg in the future. The highlights of the announcement in the video.
will be mass-produced at the MAN plant in Nuremberg from 2025 on
will be created directly in Nuremberg in the course of battery pack production
The future of commercial vehicles will be electric. By 2030, trucks over 16 tonnes must reduce their CO2 emissions by 30 per cent. “We may have diesel in our blood,” Vlaskamp explained, “but the world is changing and we have to go electric too.” With this starting signal for the production of battery packs in Nuremberg and the production of e-trucks at MAN’s Munich site, “we have created a commercial vehicle e-cluster that secures MAN’s future.” And that’s not all. In addition to the 350 highly modern and qualified jobs created directly in Nuremberg in the course of battery pack production, there are others at supplier companies and in the surrounding area. “It is a signal for the German commercial vehicle industry that we at MAN are focusing on future technology and creating jobs here in the country,” says Vlaskamp.
The object of the moment is roughly the size of a refrigerator, weighs several hundred kilograms and marks the future of transport. Using a cordless screwdriver, Minister President Dr. Söder and CEO Vlaskamp symbolically drove the first screws into the cover of the battery pack, which was developed in Nuremberg and will soon be produced here. “Around 60 per cent of the cost of an e-truck comes down to the battery. It’s the heart of every electric truck and the storage unit for the electric drive energy,” explained Ulrich Zimmer, Senior Vice President Production Powertrain. “By producing in Nuremberg, we can influence the costs and the range capacity,” which is an essential factor “to sooner achieve cost parity between electric and conventional trucks.”
Each battery pack consists of battery cells that are grouped into modules and combined into individual layers. Six of these packs are capable of powering a heavy truck. Currently, a MAN e-truck can cover around 600 to 800 kilometres with them. But the R&D department at MAN is working tirelessly on an expansion. By 2026, they want to achieve around 1,000 kilometres, which will make an e-truck fully suitable for long-distance transport. “By the middle of this decade it will already be more economical to drive e-trucks than trucks with internal combustion engines,” predicts Alexander Vlaskamp. “We are bringing out our main product, the heavy-duty e-truck, right when customer demand picks up.” Series production of e-trucks is also planned at the Munich site from 2024. Construction of the battery cell production facilities is scheduled to begin in 2023, so that industrial mass-production can start in 2025.
While manual production will continue for the next two and a half years, preparations for the start of large-scale production are underway. MAN is investing 100 million euros over the next five years, and the Bavarian state government has promised an additional 30 million euros in technology funding. “I think this is a super signal for Nuremberg and Bavaria, because it secures MAN’s future,” said Dr. Markus Söder at the announcement. “We are fighting for every job and are prepared to take taxpayers’ money into our hands to do so,” explained the Minister President.
We are bringing out our main product, the heavy-duty e-truck, right when customer demand picks up.
Around 60 per cent of the cost of an e-truck comes down to the battery. It’s the heart of every electric truck and the storage unit for the electric drive energy.
However, the decision in favour of Germany as a high-wage location was not a simple one. At the start, battery production in Germany seemed almost hopeless. But early negotiations with the city of Nuremberg, the MAN works council, the trade union and the Bavarian state government finally ensured that the significant role played by Nuremberg site would continue into the future. In the process, all parties involved negotiated very openly and fairly, but also tenaciously. “I see the decision for Nuremberg as a sort of live-cell therapy, from which many things can grow,” said Minister President Dr. Markus Söder, whose committed efforts were highlighted by the works council and the management.
Markus Söder was not only interested in the success of the project as Nuremberg’s and Bavaria’s Minister President. “We have to counter climate change,” he explained another motive, “and significantly increase the number of charging stations”. The joint venture between the TRATON Group, Daimler Truck and Volvo fits into this, with plans to set up 1,700 high-performance charging points for green electricity at central points over the next few years.
At the press conference, the Bavarian Minister President revealed another personal detail from his life, which is perhaps also one of the reasons for his interest in MAN. “I learned to drive a truck many years ago in the Bundeswehr – on a ten-ton MAN truck. I guess I’m used to MAN,” joked Markus Söder.
Text Ralf Kund
Photos Simeon Johnke