MAN and CNL to bring eTrucks to our roads
From the end of 2017, MAN and CNL member companies will be testing electrically-powered trucks for various purposes in daily service // By starting to manufacture electric trucks at its Steyr site, MAN is taking a major step closer to electromobility in urban distribution transport
In the presence of Austrian Federal Chancellor Christian Kern and Austrian Minister for Transport, Innovation and Technology Jörg Leichtfried, MAN Truck & Bus and the Austrian Council for Sustainable Logistics (CNL) signed a Memorandum of Understanding on 20 February.
MAN is going to make test vehicles available to CNL member companies for initial practical trials at the end of 2017.
CNL plans to up its use of eTrucks for inner-city and suburban distribution transport from 2020 onwards in order to make an active contribution towards reducing emissions in cities.
In signing the development partnership agreement, both MAN and CNL are kicking off the introduction of electric drives in medium and heavy distribution transport with a permitted gross weight of 12 to 26 tonnes. The letter of intent between the CNL member companies and MAN Truck & Bus was signed at the MAN production site in Steyr, where the Munich-based vehicle manufacturer makes its MAN TGL and MAN TGM distribution transport vehicles. The plan is to start producing electric versions of the MAN TGM series from the end of 2018. “As the Truck Modification Centre is also based here, the Steyr site is perfect for producing our first electric trucks. The CNL companies will test out these vehicles in daily use,” says Joachim Drees, Chairman of the Board of MAN Truck & Bus, underlining the importance of MAN's Steyr works for its development partnership with CNL.
15 of the largest Austrian companies in trade, logistics services and production have united in the Council for Sustainable Logistics (CNL) to take a step forward within the field of sustainable logistics.
The Council for Sustainable Logistics (CNL) is linked to the Centre for Global Change and Sustainability at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU).
“CO2-free urban logistics represents an essential step forwards in combating urban air pollution and climate change,” says BOKU Vice Rector, Josef Glößl. “We are delighted that here at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna we are able to set a first milestone on this path. CNL and MAN have come together as competent partners with the aim of positively mapping out the future of urban life.”
“Achieving the Paris climate target requires pioneers who are able to look ahead and are prepared to do their bit. This merger has provided the opportunity to achieve rapid success – success that we urgently require in order to keep global warming below two degrees,” explains Climatologist Professor Helga Kromp-Kolb.
“The partnership with CNL offers MAN the ideal opportunity to further develop existing technology for series production using the practical experiences of members in the consortium. It will also help us gear our new product portfolio to customers' requirements,” adds Dr Carsten Intra, a member of the MAN Executive Board who is responsible for research and development and for production and logistics. 6x2 chassis featuring refrigerated truck bodies, swap containers and drinks containers are in the pipeline. A semitrailer combination also forms part of the scope of testing.
In addition to technical field testing, the development of services specific to eTrucks will also be incorporated into the process. This involves more than just the simple workshop service. “In e-mobility, there is more of a focus on effective operational advice and support in order to ensure that the customer is provided with the right means of transport to suit their transportation needs. As manufacturers, we will start to place a greater emphasis on analysing customer needs.” Dr Carsten Intra envisages manufacturers providing more comprehensive support in future.
“MAN has a clear roadmap for its trucks and buses when it comes to electromobility. We are introducing you to our first eTruck here today, and by the end of the year you will be seeing it on our streets. At the end of 2019 we will be going into series production for an all-electric city bus, with series production of the eTruck to begin in early 2021. We will be using a flexible modular assembly of drive components that we can use for different applications,” says Joachim Drees, explaining MAN's long-term approach to electrically-powered vehicles.
eTruck tests at nine CNL member companies
Test vehicles will start to be used at nine CNL partners – Gebrüder Weiss, Hofer, Magna Steyr, METRO, Quehenberger, REWE, Schachinger, SPAR and Stiegl – in November 2017.
“The creation of sustainable supply chains with intelligent logistics solutions is one of the main objectives at Gebrüder Weiss. With the Orange Combi Cargo block train, we have already created an environmentally friendly transport solution and by using eTrucks, we aim to ensure that even the final mile is CO2-neutral for our customers,” explains Wolfram Senger-Weiss, Executive Board member at Gebrüder Weiss, speaking about the tests.
Hofer Managing Director, Dr Günther Helm, emphasises the importance of this project for reducing CO2 emissions: “Climate protection is a crucial cornerstone of our sustainability initiative, ‘Project 2020’, and it is for this reason that we have spent several years working towards increasing our energy efficiency and reducing CO2 emissions wherever possible. We have been working on a completely CO2-neutral basis since early 2016. Our involvement in the Council for Sustainable Logistics has allowed us to make an important contribution towards a greener future, which is why we welcome the introduction of electrically driven trucks by MAN and are already looking forward to starting to use them in our vehicle fleet as planned.”
Magna Steyr will also use a test vehicle, in particular in parts logistics, as Gerd Brusius, Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Magna Steyr, explains: “Sustainability and leading innovation are part of the Magna Steyr corporate philosophy. In future, we will use quiet, clean eTrucks for parts transportation at our plant in Graz, and, in doing so, take a further measure we can use to also implement these important issues into logistics.”
Arno Wohlfahrter, CEO of METRO Cash & Carry Österreich GmbH, is looking forward to the special new addition to the METRO vehicle fleet. “The MAN e-mobility solution with a sustainable, environmentally friendly approach that can also be used for commercial vehicles in everyday operations is an important step forward for METRO. METRO as a group is committed to sustainability in all aspects of value creation in the company and therefore also supports its customers as part of this. Ecological and social considerations play a part in all decisions taken by the company. METRO’s success has for many years been closely linked to environmental responsibility, which is why we are especially looking forward to our first eTruck to arrive from the plant in Steyr.”
Christian Fürstaller, CEO and Owner of Quehenberger Logistics, highlights the expectations for the vehicle tests in his company, with a view to movement of goods in the inner city: “As specialists in store delivery across many different product ranges, we are counting on e-mobility being implemented successfully within city logistics. For that reason, Quehenberger Logistics has been involved in CNL from the start and participates in multiple field trials with e-vehicles in close collaboration with several commercial customers. Our involvement with CNL helps ensure that the vehicles, along with the accompanying services, can develop in a practicable direction. Manufacturers, service providers and shippers will need to work together much more closely in future in order to contend with the increasing requirements in terms of supply, while at the same time being in a position to minimise the impact on the environment.”
“REWE International AG was a founding member of the Council for Sustainable Logistics in 2014. A key focus of this merger of the largest firms from trade, logistics services and production, which is unique in Europe, is the development of electric commercial vehicles for suburban and inner-city transport. We need to work together to focus on this development in order to help reduce emissions,” says Frank Hensel, Chief Executive Officer of REWE International AG.
For Schachinger Logistik, e-mobility in trucks is a crucial next step forward for transport: “Developing future-ready logistics solutions is our aim here at Schachinger. Using this as our motivation, we were the initiators of the Council for Sustainable Logistics. This cooperation with MAN is helping us get a lot closer to our long-term aim of achieving CO2-free transportation, as alternatively driven transportation vehicles are the next logical step towards environmentally friendly and efficient freight logistics.”
“SPAR has set itself the goal of purchasing roughly 100% of its energy from natural, renewable sources by 2050. In order to achieve this, we require a turnaround in energy use within the transportation sector in addition to building conversion, and it is for this reason that SPAR sees the participation in the Council for Sustainable Logistics and the rapid development of electric trucks that are suitable for everyday use as an investment in emission-free food logistics for the future. Our contribution to this network involves over 60 years of experience in food logistics along with tests relating to practical use and increasing efficiency,” says SPAR CEO Fritz Poppmeier on SPAR's participation. “The eTruck will support logistics between the new SPAR warehouse in Ebergassing and the capital.”
Dr Heinrich Dieter Kiener, Owner of the Stiegl brewery in Salzburg, says: “We believe that top quality requires a vision if true enjoyment and joie de vivre are to be delivered. This means that not only should the beer taste delicious in the here and now, but it also has to be incredibly salubrious. Future generations, too, require diversity and an intact environment. For that reason, our brewery abides by the principle of a recycling economy and we pursue our ambition of constantly improving across the whole value chain. The ultimate goal is to save resources and in terms of mobility, we are therefore using alternative drive methods. As a CNL partner, we are committed to and passionate about regularly testing innovative technologies such as the electrically driven MAN truck.”
Council for Sustainable Logistics (CNL) press contact:
Werner Müller, Manager
Telephone: +43 (0)1 47654 99116 or 99114
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna – Centre for Global Change and Sustainability (gWN)
Borkowskigasse 4-4, 1190 Vienna, Austria
Partnership with CNL: MAN presents its eTruck
- MAN Truck & Bus introduces its ready-to-drive eTruck concept for urban deliveries as it signs a development partnership agreement with CNL
- The prototype precedes the test vehicles that will go into trial service with nine CNL member companies from the end of 2017
- eTruck development makes use of know-how gained from MAN's modular e-mobility assembly
When MAN signed a letter of intent to enter into a development partnership with the Council for Sustainable Logistics (CNL) in Steyr on 20 February, it also took the opportunity to present the all-electric prototype of a semitrailer tractor unit for urban distribution transport. As part of its partnership with CNL, a group of fifteen of Austria's largest companies in the retail, logistics and production sectors, MAN will be making test vehicles available to nine CNL member companies for practical trials from the end of 2017.
Since 2009, MAN Truck & Bus has been working on new delivery and waste disposal vehicle concepts for urban environments. Cities and urban areas are increasingly facing the challenge of how to reconcile a healthy climate for their inhabitants and their demands for quality of life with the delivery of goods to city centres. The development of area-based and time-based traffic avoidance and modal shift concepts also comes into the equation, as do new approaches to space utilisation and new mobility concepts.
Experience from practical testing of electrically driven trucks
Against this background, MAN Truck & Bus already presented the MAN Metropolis concept vehicle back in 2012. The all-electric 26-tonne refuse collector vehicle is CO2-free and, with its very low noise levels, is ideal for night-shift applications in city centres. A range extender in the chassis increases its deployable range to a maximum of 150 km/day. Since then, numerous practical tests with the vehicle have provided valuable experience for future projects. The Metropolis received particularly positive feedback from the testers for its simple operation and driveability. In practice, it proved to be a versatile vehicle suitable for many different applications. Fuel savings compared with a conventional diesel-powered vehicle were around 80 percent with the range extender.
Further development of the tried-and-tested electric truck concept
MAN Truck & Bus presented a further development of the Metropolis concept at the IAA 2016. This time, it was a purely electrically powered semitrailer tractor for applications in night-shift deliveries to city centre locations such as those normally utilised today by food supermarkets. Technically, it is based on a TGS 4X2 BLS-TS semitrailer tractor with an 18t permissible total weight. MAN initially used a driving demonstration to present the concept study as part of their presentation of the development partnership with CNL in Steyr.
Optimised for use with uniaxial or biaxial city semitrailers, the concept vehicle fulfils the main demands being placed on future delivery vehicles for city centre applications, namely that they must have a high load volume and low unladen weight, be emission-free (CO2, NOx) and very quiet in motion, and also guarantee good manoeuvrability.
The MAN City-Truck concept vehicle is powered by a 250 kW electric motor which delivers its 2700 Nm of torque to the rear axle via a propshaft, with no gearbox. Auxiliary units, such as the power steering, air compressor and the air-conditioning system, are electrically operated and controlled via the energy management system, thereby ensuring energy savings. The braking energy recovery system converts the kinetic energy of the vehicle into electrical energy during acceleration phases, and feeds it back into the battery. A display in the cockpit informs the driver about the current battery charge level. The energy for the truck is provided by high-performance lithium-ion batteries from the Volkswagen Group, which are arranged under the driver’s cab above the front axle, where standard vehicles have their diesel engine.
The additional weight of the electric drive components is compensated for by dispensing with the conventional diesel engine, with the result that the vehicle has the same payload as a similar, conventional semitrailer tractor from the TGS model range.
The batteries are normally charged overnight. At the same time, the system is also designed for so-called 'opportunity charging', i.e. interim charging while the vehicle is in use. This rapid charging method during interim stops, e.g. when the driver takes a break, or while loading and unloading the vehicle, ensures greater flexibility for operational and route planning. The concept vehicle also has the technical infrastructure to allow additional batteries to be installed on the side of the frame. With maximum battery charge, and depending on how it is used, the semitrailer combination concept vehicle can travel up to 200 kilometres daily.
CNL practical tests as a step towards series introduction
The electric truck study, presented within the framework of the agreement with the Council for Sustainable Logistics on 20 February 2017, forms the basic technical design for the development of vehicles that will undergo practical tests in nine CNL partner companies from the end of 2017. This will involve vehicles based on the MAN TGM series, primarily 6x2 chassis featuring refrigerated truck bodies, swap containers and drinks containers. A semitrailer combination also forms part of the scope of testing. The results from the practical tests with the test vehicles will help MAN to develop a series product portfolio of electrically driven trucks in future.
This represents just one aspect of the e-mobility strategy from MAN Truck & Bus for inner-city transport solutions, which are due to be part of the company's product range as of 2021. As part of its e-mobility roadmap, MAN is initially planning to unveil a pre-production bus version of a battery-electric vehicle (BEV) to the public by 2018. Series production of a 100% electrically powered city bus is due to start at the end of 2019. The technological know-how about the e-mobility assembly that has been gained in respect of buses will also be available for use in the eTruck. Regarding eTrucks, the first small-series production is due to start at the Steyr site at the end of 2018, following on from the practical tests by CNL companies that will be starting at the end of 2017. Series production of eTrucks will start in early 2021.
When it comes to its e-mobility strategy, membership of the Volkswagen Group means that MAN is able to utilise synergies within the Group and profit from the dynamics of the passenger car sector.
Pictures of press release
E-trucks are being launched onto the roads by CNL and MAN – CNL member companies will trial electric trucks in everyday operations from the end of 2017.