MAN has announced plans to commence production of its electric long-haul truck in 2024. This development has already generated customer interest, with more than 500 order enquiries received.
As the company strives to achieve its goal of having half of its annual registered trucks in Europe be battery-electric by 2030, it emphasises the need for political support in the form of Europe-wide construction of approximately 50,000 public truck charging points and a competitive CO2 price that renders electric trucks more economically viable than their diesel counterparts.
Alexander Vlaskamp, the CEO of MAN Truck & Bus, conveyed the importance of this technological shift by stating, “The technological upheaval is in full swing.” He further emphasised the significance of political backing for the successful implementation of electric trucks in the market. To celebrate the 180th birthday of commercial vehicle pioneer Heinrich Büssing, Vlaskamp, along with Minister President Stephan Weil, embarked on a drive in the new MAN eTruck at the MAN plant in Salzgitter. The site, originally established as a Büssing plant and subsequently acquired by MAN, will continue to play a crucial role in the production of electric trucks as part of the MAN plant network and TRATON, the parent company, with a focus on component production and spare parts logistics.
While discussing the transformation during the eTruck drive in Salzgitter, Arne Puls, Chief Human Resources Officer at MAN Truck & Bus, stressed the necessity of qualified employees in ensuring the success of this transition. Puls expressed the need for active political support to address the shortage of skilled workers and preserve future technologies in Germany. Meeting the demands of production, which has already involved training 2,600 employees in high-voltage technology, as well as developing electric technology, requires a substantial influx of new expertise. This will facilitate the future utilisation of electric trucks across various practical applications.
To enable long-distance electric transportation, it is crucial for long-haul trucks to be fully charged during the drivers’ 45-minute driving time break. MAN is actively involved in the NEFTON project, collaborating with numerous partners to develop the megawatt charging system (MCS) required for this purpose. The new MAN eTruck has already been designed to be compatible with this forthcoming MCS standard, expected to be available from 2025. This advancement will enable long-distance ranges of up to 1,000 kilometers in the future. Additionally, the eTruck’s variable battery configurations, ranging from 300 to 500 kWh of usable capacity, will facilitate a wide range of transport tasks, including low-noise and emission-free waste disposal in urban areas, as well as eco-friendly collection of milk from organic farmers.
Production of the new MAN eTruck is scheduled to commence in 2024 at the company’s main plant in Munich. Initially, it will be produced alongside conventional diesel trucks. MAN’s concept, aiming for electric trucks to comprise around half of its annual production by 2030, involves the integration of its other manufacturing facilities as well.