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MAN eMOBILITY CENTRE: THE ARRIVAL OF AN eTRUCK ERA

 

Hall F8 at its main factory in Munich is where MAN is taking a significant step forwards in the future of sustainable and eco-friendly transportation. This building has now been fitted out as the MAN eMobility Centre. Production personnel have an area of around 4,000 square metres to test the series production of battery-powered trucks under real conditions. We pay them a visit during the opening ceremony

Marking on a road: You want to see the future? This way
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Key technology electromobility The opening of the MAN eMobility Center is an important step on the way to emission-free transport with electric trucks.

The historic moment is being celebrated in a restricted circle, but that alters nothing in its major significance. The coronavirus pandemic resulted in MAN deciding against a large event. Only relatively few guests and journalists are present. As MAN CEO Andreas Tostmann opens the doors to the MAN eMobility Centre to visitors for the first time, he makes it clear that they are stepping over the threshold to the future of transportation. “Electric mobility is the key technology for the future of commercial transport. MAN and its customers are jointly advancing this progress. Our opening of this MAN eMobility Centre in Munich launches our ability to include electric trucks in our forthcoming series production”, Tostmann says.

The Truck division at MAN is therefore now accelerating on the path to electric mobility. While the battery-powered MAN Lion’s City E urban bus and the fully-electric MAN eTGE van are already strongly represented in the market as series vehicles, the first e-truck – the MAN eTGM – has so far only been delivered in small series to customers throughout Europe. The intention is for this to change in the foreseeable future. The MAN eMobility Centre creates a basis for this commercial vehicle manufacturer to produce e-trucks in large industrial quantities. “It enables us to meet all the zero-emission requirements for the commercial vehicle sector – trucks, buses and vans – to achieve their climate targets. MAN is thus continuing its transformation into being a provider of sustainable and eco-friendly transport solutions”, is how Andreas Tostmann explains the significance of the opening in Munich.

Training on and off the Job

The visitors glance around with curiosity during their tour of the MAN eMobility Centre. They even have the opportunity to see and touch a fully-built prototype of the new electric truck. Some technological components are however covered for secrecy. The production line on which series production of the e-truck is to be tested fills a large part of the building. Panes of glass reveal a view into a kind of classroom where instructors are teaching the theory of electric mobility. The building also houses learning islands with displays that explain the production steps and technical details. On and off the job, these enable MAN employees to learn about the process stages and the dexterity required for assembling e-trucks on a series production line.

“We’re using the MAN eMobility Centre to develop the skills needed to take our e-trucks into series production. It’s where employees at the Munich factory will be qualified in future technologies under real production conditions. The training programme includes the production processes for e-trucks and the safe handling of high-voltage technologies. The experience we gain from this testing of series production will flow directly into the development and production of series-ready battery-powered trucks”, is how Michael Kobriger, board member for production & logistics at MAN Truck & Bus, summarises the mission for the new training centre.

Compared to a conventionally powered truck, the e-truck features new parts and new components, such as an electric battery and motor, high-voltage components and its orange high-voltage cable. These simultaneously necessitate a new vehicle architecture and different production steps. The MAN eMobility Centre in Munich is where the entire production process including vehicle commissioning will take place. The plan is for both conventional and battery-powered trucks to be produced on a joint series production line in Munich in the future.

Electromobility is the key technology for commercial vehicle transport of the future. MAN is driving this progress together with our customers.

Andreas Tostmann
Chief Executive Officer of MAN SE und MAN Truck & Bus SE

An anticipated rise in demand for e-trucks

Electric mobility is rapidly gaining ground in goods and passenger transport. While public transport companies in particular have already electrified their bus fleets to a large extent, battery-powered trucks for distribution and long-distance transport have not yet become so rapidly established on the market, partly because the required economic incentives and subsidy programmes are lacking. MAN expects, however, that the demand from transport companies for locally emission-free electric trucks will rise in the near future – initially due to climate policy requirements and CO2 pricing, but also because operating electric vehicles is increasingly becoming more economical. This commercial vehicle manufacturer is using the series production testing of its e-truck in the MAN eMobility Centre to prepare for rising demand from its customers relating to climate-neutral transport solutions. It plans that all relevant engineering personnel involved in truck production in Munich will be qualified in the series production of e-trucks by 2024.

The fact that MAN is basing the series production of its e-trucks at its main factory in Munich is especially pleasing for one guest in particular: Hubert Aiwanger, the Bavarian Minister of Economic Affairs. "Electromobility is a massively growing market, which is in the interests of domestic jobs and the environment if it is tackled properly," said Aiwanger during a tour of the MAN eMobility Center. "Investments like the one made by industrial heavyweight MAN exemplify how the attractiveness of Bavaria as a business location can be strengthened in the long term. Climate protection and the economy are mutually reinforcing here.

The MAN factory in Munich was designated as “Factory of the Year” in 2016. In the overall ecosystem at MAN, it serves as a start-up and volume factory for heavy duty trucks. It also supplies cabs, driven axles and components to the wider factory network. The main factory already enjoys a proud history of almost 70 years. The series production of e-trucks means it will soon be starting a new chapter.

Text   Felix Enzian
Photos   Alexandra Beier

#Electromobility#AlternativeDrives#Truck

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