27 Apr 2023
Together with Bavarian Prime Minister Dr Markus Söder, MAN CEO Alexander Vlaskamp took the new MAN eTruck on its first drive on a public road in Munich.
"The Trucker Babes are here!" With this statement, Bavarian Prime Minister Dr Markus Söder caused a laugh as he got out of the new MAN eTruck. He had just driven a lap of the Munich Olympic grounds together with MAN CEO Alexander Vlaskamp in the MAN eTruck. Söder clearly feels at home in the world of heavy trucks. "During my time in the Bundeswehr, I took a truck driver's licence. Those were MAN vehicles, too. Compared to the vehicles back then, the eTruck's cabin looks like a Robinson Club. This is a great development," said the Prime Minister after the premiere drive for the large-scale electric truck on a public road.
"We are now bringing our battery-electric truck onto the roads of Bavaria after the successful winter tests. Already by the middle of this decade, it will be more economical to drive e-trucks in this country than trucks with combustion engines. So we are launching our heavy-duty e-truck at exactly the right time, when demand from hauliers is expected to pick up," said Vlaskamp after the drive through the Olympic Park. A historical bridge-building, because already during the 1972 Summer Olympics the athletes travelled back and forth between the Olympic Park and the Olympic Village in two MAN electric buses, with the buses being in use for up to 20 hours a day. At that time, however, the batteries still had to be carried in a separate trailer.
Strong performance: MAN's eTruck showed in Munich where the journey is heading in freight transport.
Anyone who would have said five years ago that there would be an eTruck would have been declared crazy. What you have now achieved is a real quantum leap," said Minister President Söder, addressing Vlaskamp. "We have the big goal of advancing climate protection and significantly reducing CO2 emissions in transport. This technology will fundamentally change freight transport."
The market launch of the new MAN eTruck 2024 is drawing closer: the large long-haul electric truck recently proved its full winter suitability in the Arctic Circle, covering more than 10,000 kilometres at minus 40 degrees in some places. In summer, tests were conducted in the heat of Spain's Sierra Nevada, and now the MAN eTruck is also entering its long-distance endurance run on public roads.
But in order to fully exploit the potential of the eTrucks, a functioning infrastructure is necessary. "For this, we urgently need at least 50,000 high-capacity and megawatt charging points in Europe - both in our customers' depots and along the most important long-distance routes," said Vlaskamp, referring to the huge market potential for battery-electric trucks. Minister President Söder also agreed. Bavaria has the most charging points in Germany, but more needs to be invested in this throughout the country. Time is pressing: as early as 2030, 50 percent of all newly registered MAN trucks in Europe are to be battery-electric.
As part of the TRATON GROUP and in a joint venture with other partners, MAN is already actively promoting the establishment of at least 1,700 high-performance charging points along motorways and logistics hubs in Europe. MAN is also involved in the "HoLa - high-performance charging in long-distance truck transport" project: Along the A2 motorway between Berlin and the Ruhr region, fast charging points are to be built at which battery-electric long-distance trucks can be charged within the statutory break times of 45 minutes.
The new MAN eTruck is already technically prepared for the megawatt charging required for this and expected to be available from 2025. Long-distance daily ranges of between 600 and 800 kilometres, later even 1,000 kilometres, will thus be possible with the electric lion. But the new MAN eTruck will also easily cover the majority of other typical transport tasks of today's trucks, for example low-noise and emission-free waste disposal in the city or the collection of milk from the organic farmer with the electric food tanker.
Production of the new MAN electric truck will start in 2024 at the main plant in Munich, where it will be manufactured on the same assembly line as conventional diesel trucks. This mixed production will make it possible to both flexibly meet the increasing demand for electric trucks in the coming years and at the same time keep diesel trucks in the range for as long as necessary. While around 2,500 electric trucks are expected to roll off the Munich assembly line in 2025, 40,000 new heavy-duty MAN electric trucks are expected to be registered in Europe by 2030 - around half of MAN's total annual production. MAN will manufacture the batteries for these trucks itself at its plant in Nuremberg. A production capacity of around 100,000 batteries is planned here in 2030. "MAN has decided to continue producing in Bavaria and to develop new technologies. MAN is a company with great responsibility, also for jobs," Söder concluded.
With the new electric truck, MAN Truck & Bus is consistently pushing ahead with its zero-emission strategy and the change to zero-emission commercial vehicles - especially in heavy long-haul transport.
Text: Anke Kotte