MAN Truck & Bus
MAN Truck & Bus
There was great amazement. “Sensationally quiet,” “powerful acceleration,” “you don’t notice at all that you’ve got ten tonnes behind you,” “drives like a car” – those were just a few of the spontaneous first comments from customers and journalists at the MAN eMobility event from 17 to 21 October.
There, they had the opportunity to drive the almost production-ready MAN eTruck on the MAN test track for the very first time. The fully electric truck, due to enter production in 2024, joined the fully electric MAN Lion’s City 10 E midibus as the main attractions of the event. In addition to two eTrucks, visitors could also drive an eTGM. With a maximum daily range of 190 kilometres, it is designed for urban freight and delivery uses.
In countless test drives on the track, visitors could experience the many benefits of emission-free drive technology for themselves. However, it was not just the vehicles, but also the copious information on MAN eMobility Services, battery production and the company’s electric drive expertise that made it clear that the future of MAN is electric.
with MAN experts, covering key electromobility topics
the daily range that the new MAN eTruck is expected to achieve in the future
In the spotlight: MAN's new eTruck was one of the main protagonists at the event
Welcome to the test site The MAN eMobility event took place from 17 to 21 October at the MAN test track in Karlsfeld, near Munich.
All ready for the guests Invited MAN customers and around 70 German and international industry journalists were invited to enjoy the glorious sunshine.
The message got through and the new eTruck impressed both the invited customers and around 70 German and international industry journalists. Michael Schippler, fleet manager at Vion Food Group, was full of praise after his two laps at the wheel of the fully electric truck: “At the start of my test drive, I wondered if I was actually driving a truck or a car. The eTruck was child’s play to operate and to move. We have already registered to pre-order the vehicle.”
The MAN eTruck is ready for the forthcoming megawatt charging standard and is therefore ideal for long-distance freight transport. Daily ranges of 600–800 kilometres will be possible in just a few years, perhaps as high as 1,000 kilometres. This will be possible because drivers can charge their eTrucks using high-performance chargers during their compulsory 45-minute break times.
At the beginning of my test drive, I wondered whether I was driving a truck at all or whether it was a passenger car. Because the eTruck was child's play to operate and move. We have already signed up for the pre-order of the vehicle.
MAN eTruck in action The invited guests were impressed by how the fully electric truck drives. “So quiet, so economical, so quick off the mark…”
OptiView for perfect visibility The two eTrucks were fitted with the OptiView mirror replacement system, ensuring no more blind spots. That’s a key aspect when it comes to safety.
Full charging power MAN is working intensively with its partners on megawatt charging systems to enable its electric trucks to fill up with the electricity they need as quickly and effectively as possible in the future.
That’s exactly why the TRATON GROUP, which includes MAN, is deeply committed to building charging infrastructure: working with a number of industry partners, they have founded a joint venture to build at last 1,700 high-voltage charging points on or close to motorways and logistics hubs throughout Europe. The partners are investing a total of € 500 million in the project. However, visitors to the event believe that governments must provide extensive support with this.
Only then will eTrucks be able to unleash their full potential: on long-distance routes, compared to a diesel truck (average fuel consumption of 27 litres per 100 kilometres) a single electric truck can save up to 100 tonnes of CO2, based on an annual distance of 120,000 kilometres. That’s winning over more and more logistics operators who want to do something about climate change. Consequently, it is estimated that there will be some 270,000 electric trucks on the roads of Germany by 2030.
MAN leads the way when it comes to sustainability and has committed to binding climate targets as part of the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi): fleet greenhouse gas emissions per kilometre driven by all trucks, buses and vans sold by MAN are set to fall by 28 per cent by 2030 (compared to the base year 2019). MAN is clearly relying on battery electric mobility as a replacement for the diesel engine here, because it is significantly more energy efficient and economical in comparison with hydrogen fuel. This makes eMobility the first choice for transport solutions to sustainably reduce CO2 emissions.
to be built on or close to motorways and logistics hubs throughout Europe.
0 Electric trucks
will be on the roads of Germany by 2030, according to estimates.
A hands-on glimpse into the future: the megawatt charging plug is pretty big and heavy.
Megawatt charging pit stop Guests can try this model to see how megawatt charging will work in the future. Experts from MAN Transport Solutions provided the necessary on-site advice.
I would like support from MAN, right from A to Z, from the purchase of the vehicle to its disposal
As well as first-hand experience in and around the vehicles on the test track, customers and members of the press could also chat to MAN experts at four Pit Stops to find out more about the current state of battery developments, the benefits of the eTruck, the challenges linked to the charging infrastructure and the services available from MAN Transport Solutions. After all, MAN’s priority is simplifying business! That’s why the company offers customers complete eSolutions to ensure a smooth transition and the most efficient use of their eTruck.
A number of MAN experts were available for discussion and to provide comprehensive, 360° advice to anyone interested. Discussions like this are essential because the framework conditions have to be right to ensure a smooth transition from diesel to electric vehicles. These include rapid, easy charging using megawatt charging systems and a perfect charging infrastructure with as few gaps as possible. To ensure all this, the team from MAN Transport Solutions provides customers with advice before, during and after their switch to electric vehicles. It’s a service that’s very well-received. “I would like support from MAN, right from A to Z, from the purchase of the vehicle to its disposal,” said Dennis Wirtz, Fleet Manager at Spedition Hillert.
It goes without saying that the experts from MAN Transport Solutions also advise and support bus segment customers with their transition to electric transport. Michael Schippler gets straight to the point when asked how important this consultancy service is: “I have perfect support at my side on the road to electromobility, a skilled partner to help with the entire planning and implementation process.”
Welcoming the guests MAN eMobility expert Raphaela Natterer welcomes the invited guests at the start of the event and explains which highlights await the customers and journalists at the various stations.
High-voltage batteries made by MAN Dr Michael Bernath, who heads the development of the new drivetrain components, explained the structure of the energy storage to the guests. Each battery pack consists of battery cells, grouped into modules and combined together in individual layers. MAN uses three different variants for trucks and buses, depending on customer requirements.
Theory before practice Achim Demattio, Project Manager Sales for the new eTruck at MAN Truck & Bus, explained the key features and specifics of the new eTruck to MAN customers, before they took the wheel themselves.
The visitors did, however, have a few criticisms – especially when it comes to the infrastructure: “The greatest hurdles are still the lack of charging points and support for electromobility,” explained Rudolf Ebner, head of Procurement and Fleet at Quehenberger Logistics. “Here in Austria, we have to be buying three vehicles to get any support.” Bernd Reining, Fleet Manager at Duvenbeck Consulting, is of a similar opinion. However, he remains optimistic: “It is right to start gathering initial experiences in the field of electromobility for the transport industry – even if it will take a while for the infrastructure to catch up. For example, we can learn how to save energy when driving at an early stage of our driver training. To do that though, we need support from MAN, like we have here and now at this event.”
The greatest hurdles are still the lack of charging points and support for electromobility
Discussion with customer Bernd Reining, Fleet Manager at Duvenbeck Consulting GmbH, was included in the vehicle planning during the production of the eTruck. MAN sees discussion with customers as an extremely important aspect in the development of its models.
Early experience is important Bernd Reining wants driver training from MAN to teach him how he can save energy in the future, if he switches his fleet to electric vehicles. He received the first live training at the eMobility event.
The infrastructure is the problem In the eyes of Rudolf Ebner, head of Procurement and Fleet at Quehenberger Logistics, the greatest obstacle to the transition to electromobility is the infrastructure, because there are still too few charging points for the transport sector.
CEO at the wheel MAN CEO Alexander Vlaskamp did not miss the opportunity to do a few laps of the test track in the new eTruck too. He was then on hand to talk to guests and answer any questions on the mobility transition. The MAN CEO agrees that one of the greatest obstacles is the necessary infrastructure. Industry and politicians must work closely together on this.
The other highlight of the event, alongside the MAN eTruck, was the brand-new MAN Lion’s City 10 E midibus. It was launched on 21 October – to an audience including the 24 international industry journalists who had recently picked the Lion’s City 12 E as Bus of the Year 2023. The small eBus completes the Lion’s City E family, and this was the first time the members of the Bus of the Year awards jury had been given the opportunity to admire it.
At only 10.5 metres long, this electric bus has a record-breaking turning circle of 17.2 metres and a wheelbase of just 4.40 metres. This makes it the ideal solution for narrow city centres and busy pedestrian areas. The Lion’s City 10 E has given MAN a major competitive advantage: the company offers a length option that very few of its competitors produce.
Alongside the new midibus, the experts in Munich also got to meet the third member of the family: the big Lion’s City 18 E, which brought the guests to the event using electric power.
The new MAN Lion’s City 10 E Alongside the eTruck, the new MAN Lion’s City 10 E was the other star of the event. This was the first time it was presented to an international trade audience – and it met with great applause.
Talk to the experts on all things bus Viktor Schaub (right), Product Manager Bus at MAN Truck & Bus, explained the benefits of the small, manoeuvrable minibus to guests. Just like its big brother, it is available with an optional new, efficient CO2 air conditioning system.
Pencils sharpened, cameras rolling The many journalists who attended put the new midibus under the microscope. Production is due to start in Starachowice in early 2023.
The technology in eBuses is under constant development. MAN’s engineers and developers work closely with their customers to tailor their vehicles even better to the needs and wishes of their operators. For example, customers can specify the number of battery packs to suit their routes. While the Lion’s City 12 E comes with four, five or six packs as standard, customers can choose between six, seven and eight packs on the Lion’s City 18 E articulated bus. Since the middle of 2022, an optional efficient CO2 air conditioning system has also been available for all Lion’s City E models.
Modular battery solutions MAN experts including Dr Markus Pröbster, head of the eMobility technical centre in Nuremberg, explained to guests how flexibly the battery packs can be used in both eTrucks and eBuses.
There it is Small, handy, manoeuvrable – with a length of just 10.5 metres, a record-breaking turning circle of 17.2 metres and a wheelbase of only 4.40 metres, the new MAN Lion’s City 10 E is the perfect transport solution for narrow city centres.
The family is complete With the MAN Lion’s City 18 E, the Lion’s City 12 E and the new Lion’s City 10 E (L–R), the MAN eBus family is now complete. Bus driver Heinrich Degenhart of MAN ProfiDrive (centre front) is looking forward to many quiet and emission-free journeys.
We still have some work ahead of us, especially with regard to the charging infrastructure. Nevertheless, I believe that we will achieve the breakthrough of electromobility in transportation before 2030. The technology, at least, is already working just fine.
Text Boris Pieritz
Photos MAN / Getty Images