MAN Truck & Bus
MAN Truck & Bus
The road to the future is clearly defined at MAN Truck & Bus: “MAN is accelerating its transformation and taking huge steps towards emission-free drive technologies. The focus at MAN and within the TRATON Group is clearly on battery electric drives,” says MAN CEO Alexander Vlaskamp. The tremendous importance that the company places on climate protection is also clear from the 2021 Sustainability Report that MAN submitted to the UN Global Compact at the beginning of June 2022. On the basis of this, the truck and bus manufacturer has officially embedded the topic of sustainability in its corporate strategy for the first time in its history.
There is a clear timetable for products too: from 2024, MAN intends to series produce heavy e-trucks in Munich. The battery electric MAN eTGM (approx. 190 km range) is already in use on the city streets of eleven European countries. Furthermore, 2025 will see the start of large-scale in-house mass production of battery packs in Nuremberg, representing an investment of € 100 million over five years for the long-established company. That investment is boosted by a technology grant of € 30 million from the Free State of Bavaria. “We’re building an e-mobility cluster in Bavaria. The capacities of the plants in Munich and Nuremberg are matched to each other,” explains Ulrich Zimmer, Senior Vice President Production Powertrain at MAN.
will be invested by MAN in the in-house large-scale production of battery packs over the next five years.
0 Million Euros
technology funding are added by the Free State of Bavaria.
It's just great to be involved with a modern, forward-looking technology.
As an alternative to battery electric trucks, MAN Truck & Bus is also researching hydrogen-powered trucks: in the “Bavarian fleet” project, MAN is working with industry partners Bosch, Faurecia and ZF to develop a fuel cell truck, due to be delivered to five customers in mid-2024. They will then trial the hydrogen-powered fuel cell trucks for a year in real-world use.
Essentially, both battery electric and hydrogen-powered trucks are driven by electric motors. In battery electric vehicles (BEV), the electric motor sources its energy from a battery. In contrast, in fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV), a fuel cell generates electrical energy from hydrogen and oxygen, producing water vapour as the waste product. Here too, a battery is generally needed as an intermediate buffer, but it is significantly smaller.
There are pros and cons to both drive technologies. Fundamentally, fuel cell vehicles score higher with a greater range: hydrogen HGVs are set to manage 800 to 1,000 km on a tankful very soon, while only around half that distance is realistic for an electric truck. Nevertheless, advances in battery technology over the coming years will increase their range.
A possible advantage for hydrogen is that the tank can be filled in just a few minutes – provided that there is a corresponding high-performance hydrogen filling station for trucks. For batteries, charging stops of an hour or more are currently necessary. A European high-performance charging network could provide the answer here, and the TRATON Group has established a joint venture with Daimler Truck and Volvo Trucks to create just that. The three partners want to build at least 1,700 high-performance charging points on or close to motorways and logistics hubs throughout Europe and have invested a total of 500 million euros to achieve that.
The disadvantage of hydrogen technology is that it is relatively inefficient, because hydrogen production wastes a great deal of energy. Above all, however, energy costs during operation are significantly higher. And that can be a deciding factor, because for intensively used commercial vehicles, energy costs make up a sizeable proportion of a truck’s overall operating costs.
Another key issue is the lack of infrastructure – and of green hydrogen. It can currently only be produced and transported at great expense. That’s why MAN is initially concentrating on electric trucks, but without losing sight of the alternative technology. “We can only expect the use of hydrogen trucks in selected applications once there is sufficient green hydrogen and the corresponding infrastructure, which is likely to be well beyond 2030,” MAN CEO Vlaskamp says.
We can only expect the use of hydrogen trucks in selected applications once there is sufficient green hydrogen and the corresponding infrastructure, which is likely to be well beyond 2030.