MAN Truck & Bus

MAN eTGE der BVG fährt über eine Brücke.How the E-TGE perform in service

How the E-TGE performs in service


Conversion to alternative drives: Berlin's public transport service (Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe – BVG) is modernising its vehicle fleet and relying fully on e-mobility. The commercial e-vehicles introduced for the company's transport transformation have included five MAN eTGEs since the end of 2018. These electrically driven vans run exclusively on green electricity and are convincing in terms of cost-effectiveness and driving comfort.

Portrait of Daniel Dech from Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe during the eTGE practical test

"It drives very quietly and smoothly. The acceleration is clearly perceptible. I let the van cruise gently to a stop at traffic lights, thus recovering energy for the battery via recuperation". Berlin's public transport service (Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe – BVG) procured five of these battery-powered vans. Daniel Dech personally took the wheel during the test and delivery drives. "This e-vehicle is in no way inferior to the combustion engine in terms of driving dynamics," says Dech, clarifying a widespread prejudice against e-mobility.

Eco-friendly electric drives are a significant issue at BVG. "We want to be pioneers of e-mobility", says Heinrich Coenen, manager of the internal BVG fleet. "If we manage to convert the entire vehicle portfolio to sustainability, other large distribution and transport companies can do the same," he is confident. Heinrich Coenen is one of those responsible for e-mobility, digitisation and innovative energy management at BVG. The internal fleet he manages contains 400 vehicles. This includes different categories of van, like the five new MAN eTGEs. They are used as service vehicles – and also act as a testing ground for one hundred percent electrification of the entire BVG fleet. Coenen aims to have the internal fleet fully electrified by 2025. Then it is planned that the BVG bus fleet, currently around 1500 vehicles, will transport passengers exclusively by means of local, emission-free drive systems by 2030. Berlin is demonstrating how e-mobility can operate successfully in public transport.

Three MAN eTGE of Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG)

E-mobility is economical

Environmental protection in road traffic is also cost-effective. These electric vans from MAN are the ideal test beds for BVG Fleet Manager Heinrich Coenen to test the logistical and economic use of e-vehicles. "Our vans generally travel short distances and make lots of stops – so loading times and the required ranges are easy to plan. Besides, a lot of cold starts are required during operation, which cause particularly high emissions in the case of conventional drives," explains fleet manager Coenen. Deployment of the MAN eTGE therefore enables the advantages of e-mobility to be fully exploited. The benefits of e-vans include not only complete freedom from local emissions, but also the favourable operating cost structure due to green electricity. The procurement costs of an eTGE are amortised after a few years of use. "The break even point will be reached even sooner in future if e-vehicles are produced and sold in greater numbers", Coenen calculates. It is therefore clear to him: “Electric mobility pays off not only ecologically but also economically. I'm convinced of that."   

BVG has been deploying the MAN eTGE in the entire urban area of Berlin since 2018. The five vans are on the roads daily in two-shift operation. They transport company-internal mail or drive to stops, tracks and other locations for service and maintenance work. These service vans are equipped with rack systems in the cargo area to neatly and safely carry tools, spare parts and materials. MAN eTGEs are even used to transport tram and underground train axles to their destination. The 100 kW electric motor always provides sufficient electrical power: BVG basically installs a separate 11 kW AC charging station for each electric vehicle, so the battery can be charged immediately after each shift.

Portrait of Heinrich Coenen, Project manager Stabsabteilung Geschäftsentwicklung der Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG)

Greater driving comfort in a MAN eTGE

"We can cope well with a range of around 120 kilometres in urban operation", reports fleet administrator Daniel Dech. That is very important, since a stopover at a rapid charging station is often not possible. "Drivers want to park their vehicles directly at the site, so they don't have to carry tools and materials too far", says Dech.

The eco-friendly e-vans really come into their own in winter: "The advance air conditioning via the navigation system regulates the temperature even before starting. And we can run the air conditioning and engine without exhaust fumes and noise – even when stationary," states Daniel Dech. The interior of a MAN van also features high-quality materials.

BVG fleet manager Heinrich Coenen is meanwhile working to further improve the conditions for exploiting e-mobility. BVG, in collaboration with other companies like Berlin's power grid (Stromnetz Berlin) and the Berlin municipal cleaning service (Berliner Stadtreinigung – BSR), has launched the Smart eFleets research project. This involves the project partners jointly setting up car-sharing schemes and a network of rapid charging stations to enable commercial e-vehicles to be used at any time, even in periods of peak demand. Heinrich Coenen is also advancing energy management innovations at BVG. His objective is to coordinate the low-cost availability of green electricity with both e-fleet management and building management to ensure an optimum balance between eco-friendliness and cost efficiency.    

This fleet manager knows from experience: "Companies not only need to reorganise their vehicle portfolio, but also the way they work in order to consistently exploit the advantages of electric mobility". The age of sustainable solutions is emerging at BVG.

Text   Felix Enzian
Photos   Èriver Hijano


The vehicles and products displayed on this website may differ in terms of shape, design, colour and scope of supply. Some of the images may include special equipment, accessories and decorative elements which are subject to an additional charge. The technical features and equipment of the vehicles described are merely examples and may differ, in particular on a country-specific basis. We reserve the right to make changes at any time.

Our vehicles are equipped with summer tyres as standard. Please check possible national regulations about whether winter tyres are required. Your MAN partner will be happy to advise you.

The specified fuel consumption and emission data has been determined according to the measurement procedures prescribed by law. Since 1st September 2017, certain new vehicles are already being type-approved according to the Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP), a more realistic test procedure for measuring fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. It is currently still required by law to state the NEDC figures for vehicles for passenger transport with registration class M1. In the case of new vehicles which have been type-approved according to the WLTP, the NEDC figures are derived from the WLTP data. In cases where the NEDC figures are specified as value ranges, these do not refer to a particular individual vehicle and do not constitute part of the sales offering.

Additional equipment and accessories (e.g. add-on parts, different tyre formats, etc.) may change the relevant vehicle parameters, such as weight, rolling resistance and aerodynamics, and, in conjunction with weather and traffic conditions and individual driving style, may affect fuel consumption, electrical power consumption, CO2 emissions and the performance figures for the vehicle.

Efficiency classes rate vehicles for passenger transport with an M1 passenger vehicle registration, according to the CO2 emissions under consideration of the empty vehicle weight. Vehicles which conform to the average are classified as D. Vehicles which are above the current average are classified as A+, A, B or C. Vehicles which are below average are classified as E, F or G.

Additional information regarding the official fuel consumption, and the official specific CO2 emissions of new vehicles for passenger transport, with an M1 passenger vehicle registration, can be found in the “Guide on the fuel economy, CO2-Emissions, and power consumptions of all New Passenger Car Models”. This guideline is available free of charge at all sales points and from the DAT Deutsche Automobil Treuhand GmbH, Hellmuth-Hirth-Str. 1, 73760 Ostfildern-Scharnhausen, Germany. (

In vehicle classes N1, N2 and M2, coolant of the type R134a is used. MAN TGEs of vehicle class M1 require coolant of the type R1234yf. The GWP value of the coolant used is 1.430 (coolant type R134a) and 4 (coolant type R1234yf). The fill levels depend on the coolant compressor and varies between 560 - 590 grams.

Black arrow up