MAN Truck & Bus

Marcel Hessel Portret

Fully charged in 45 minutes

As Head of Charging at MAN Truck & Bus, Marcel Hessel is responsible for the series development of charging systems, including the new Megawatt Charging System (MCS).


Maximum energy in minimum time: that’s the story for fully electric HGVs such as the new MAN eTruck when they stop to charge. The solution is megawatt charging. 

Mr Hessel, why will megawatt charging be so important to the future of heavy goods transport, and therefore to MAN too?

MARCEL HESSEL Electric trucks are still mainly used from their depot bases. However, the use of battery-powered trucks will soon shift more towards long-distance transport. Our customers are cost-oriented –trucks are a commodity in their eyes. When they’re not moving, they’re wasting time. And in the logistics industry, time is money.

What is the aim of this new charging technology?

MARCEL HESSEL The aim is determined by the legal requirements. Truck drivers must take a 45-minute break after every four-and-a-half hours maximum at the wheel. Megawatt charging means that the power reserves of their e-truck should be full again by the end of their break. 

What is the difference between the Megawatt Charging System (MCS) and the conventional Combined Charging System (CCS) rapid chargers?

MARCEL HESSEL MCS operates at a voltage of up to 1,250 volts and uses its own plug design. However, the key difference is the charging performance. CCS can provide a maximum of 375 kilowatts, while the first phase of MCS can offer 750 to 1,000 kilowatts. In theory, up to 3.75 megawatts would be possible, hence the name of the system. That is likely to be needed under some circumstances at a later date for coaches that travel at higher speeds and have less time to charge. An eTruck also needs to be able to fill its batteries quickly though. 

What is the biggest challenge faced by MAN in the development of megawatt charging?

MARCEL HESSEL The biggest challenge is time. The new eTruck will be hitting the road in 2024/25. By then, we want to have developed a robust, reliable system for our customers. From a technical point of view, the most challenging aspect is charging communication, including interoperability as well as thermal management – energy lost to heat during charging – and standardisation. 

Electric truck charging system
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Zeit ist Geld: Elektrische Lkws wie der eTruck von MAN sind auf kurze Ladezeiten angewiesen.

Why is standardisation an issue?

MARCEL HESSEL We need a mandatory, unified standard in the transport sector. We can’t have every truck manufacturer concocting their own version. 

Which partners is MAN Truck & Bus working with to develop MCS?

MARCEL HESSEL One of our key partners is ABB E-Mobility, one of the world’s leading suppliers of charging solutions and a specialist in megawatt charging. Alongside them, as a member of the TRATON GROUP, MAN is part of a joint venture with a number of industry partners. The aim of this collaboration is to create a European high performance charging network with 1,700 green electricity charging stations. We have also been part of the “Charin” task force for a few years now, working on charging stations with almost 70 industrial companies. 

Marcel Hessler presents the megawatt charging system

I am sure that MAN trucks and buses will be able to use a functioning and reliable megawatt charging system in 2025. 

Marcel Hessel
Head of Charging
MAN Truck & Bus

Has megawatt charging been tested in practice yet?

MARCEL HESSEL Yes, it will be soon. The HoLa project (from “Hochleistungsladen”, meaning high performance charging), will see two charging stations fitted with the Megawatt Charging System installed at each of four locations along the A2 Autobahn (motorway) in early 2024 for use by the logistics industry. Two sites are right on the motorway, while the other two are at logistics hubs. Alongside other truck manufacturers, MAN is one of more than 20 partners from the science and industry sectors working with the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research, with the backing of the Federal Transport Ministry. 

How much demand for charging stations are you expecting for the coming year?

MARCEL HESSEL By 2025, there is likely to be a need for around 11,000 charging points for trucks in the EU, probably rising to much more than 40,000 by 2030. To achieve this, we need to ensure that we use as little space as possible too, because as we know, truck parking spaces are already very scarce. That’s why we need intelligent lay-by layouts and charging infrastructure designs – including the political support to enable the creation of the necessary framework, such as site acquisition or approval processes. 

Despite all these challenges, are you hopeful for the future?

MARCEL HESSEL Yes, I am sure that MAN trucks and buses will be able to use a functioning and reliable megawatt charging system in 2025. 

Text   Christian Jeß
Photos   MAN / Getty Images

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