MAN Truck & Bus

Booster for the range

Söder standing next to a MAN eTruck

26 Mar 2024

Premiere of the megawatt charging system at MAN: For the first time, an eTruck was publicly charged with more than 700 kilowatts and 1,000 amps - an important step towards climate-friendly freight transport.

Bavarian Minister President Dr Markus Söder did not want to miss out on this moment: At the premiere event in mid-March, he grabbed the charging plug and personally connected an eTruck to a charging station at MAN's development centre in Munich. The special thing about it: a megawatt charging system (MCS) from ABB E-mobility made its first public appearance in Germany in the Bavarian capital.

Great interest: At the MCS premiere, Dr Frederik Zohm, Dr Markus Söder, Alexander Vlaskamp and Michael Halbherr (from left) answered questions from journalists.

Central building block for the mobility transition

ABB E-mobility and MAN have been working together for years and have contributed their expertise to the MCS standard in the international industry association CharIN. Megawatt charging is a central building block for the mobility transition in the commercial vehicle sector, because thanks to the high charging power, even heavy eTrucks can be recharged in a short time. The public demonstration was attended by a number of prominent figures: Söder was joined by MAN CEO Alexander Vlaskamp, Chief Development Officer Dr Frederik Zohm and Michael Halbherr, CEO of ABB E-mobility.

The charging station prototype from ABB E-mobility delivered more than 700 kilowatts (kW) of power and around 1,000 amperes (A) of current during the public demonstration. The MCS standard even provides for 3.75 megawatts and 3,000 amps. By comparison, today's charging stations with the CCS standard (Combined Charging System) can be used by cars and commercial vehicles, but only offer a maximum charging capacity of 400 kW at 500 A current.

Recharging during rest periods

The high performance of MCS makes it possible to recharge the batteries of electrically powered trucks from 10 to 80 per cent of their capacity in just 30 minutes. This allows drivers to use their prescribed rest periods of 45 minutes not only to relax, but also to recharge their vehicles at the same time. In addition to eTrucks, electrically powered coaches also benefit from MCS as a range booster. "This is state-of-the-art ecological and economical e-mobility that is being developed in Bavaria," said Dr Söder at the event. "We need to put our domestic industry in a position to compete. Innovation and technology secure the future."

Halbherr also emphasised the great importance of innovation: "In order to achieve the energy transition in transport, we need solutions that are sustainable, reliable and economical. To achieve this, we need to think integratively and work together. Today's demonstration is also the result of close collaboration between MAN and ABB E-mobility and the entire industry."

Win-win situation: while the drivers take their rest periods, the eTruck charges energy for the rest of the journey.

This is state-of-the-art ecological and economical e-mobility that is being developed in Bavaria.

Dr Markus Söder - Minister-President of Bavaria

"We need clear signals from politicians"

Vlaskamp emphasised how important the MCS infrastructure is for the mobility transition for commercial vehicles: "Climate-friendly vehicles alone are not enough. We need sufficient high-performance and megawatt charging stations to get electric mobility moving. That is the decisive factor!" The aim is to have 30,000 MCS charging points in Europe by 2030, around 4,000 of them in Germany. However, there is not much time left to set this up. "The electric trucks are available, megawatt charging is working," says Vlaskamp. "We now need clear signals from politicians, not least to build trust among our customers in favour of electrification. We now need to build and scale up the infrastructure quickly."

Infrastructure determines success: MCS technology is available, now many charging points need to be installed quickly.

Because when large amounts of energy flow, the infrastructure behind the visible charging points, the grid connections and the space requirements - for example at motorway service stations, car parks or truck stops - play a key role. Grid expansion and the digitalisation of the grids are therefore not only essential for the future supply of renewable energy, but also a crucial prerequisite for an efficient charging infrastructure.

Text: Christian Buck

Photos: MAN