Source: MAN Truck & Bus
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MAN Truck & Bus has launched sales of the first heavy-duty electric truck in its corporate history, marking another milestone in the decarbonization of freight transport. 600 order inquiries have already been received. The first 200 units are scheduled to roll out to selected customers as early as 2024, before production at MAN’s Munich plant starts in larger numbers from 2025 as orders ramp up.
With the eMobility Center, MAN laid the foundation for the development of the new MAN eTGX and MAN eTGS high-volume electric trucks at its Munich plant around two years ago and invested heavily in preparations for mixed production of diesel and electric trucks.
50 prototypes have since been built, and around 4.000 employees from production and sales have been trained for the switch to electric mobility. At MAN’s Nuremberg site, MAN is investing around €100 million in setting up battery production.
«In order to achieve the 1,5º C target of the Paris climate agreement, we as the commercial vehicle industry must do our part and sustainably reduce CO2 emissions. Electric trucks are the key to achieving this.
«As a commercial vehicle manufacturer, we have repositioned ourselves for this epochal transformation in recent years, making ourselves robust and future-proof to be able to handle the high investments in the new technology. With the sale of our new eTrucks, we are now launching into a new era of climate-neutral transport.
«As early as 2030, every second MAN truck registered in Europe is to be electric. However, for us to achieve this goal, a nationwide charging infrastructure is an absolute prerequisite.
«We therefore need a significantly accelerated expansion to at least 4,000 megawatt charging points in Germany and 50,000 high-capacity and megawatt charging points in Europe by 2030», says Friedrich Baumann, Executive Board member for Sales and Customer Solutions at MAN Truck & Bus.
The new eTGX and eTGS are characterized by high variability in battery configurations. With 6 battery packs, 2 of which are installed under the cab and up to 4 more on the side of the vehicle frame, both offer up to 480 kWh of usable battery capacity for daily ranges of up to 800 km.
Developed by MAN specifically for use in commercial vehicles, they will be mass-produced at the Nuremberg plant from 2025. With their NMC (Nickel, Manganese and Cobalt) cell chemistry and specially developed temperature management, the battery packs offer high energy density with a compact design, long service life and fast charging — even with low residual battery charge and low outside temperatures.
This means that the optimum vehicle configuration in terms of range, payload and charging time can be selected for every application characteristic — from supermarket deliveries in the city center, through regional building materials supply, to long-distance transport in logistics.
Operations in urban distribution transport, for example, generally require shorter daily ranges of up to 250 km, and recharging takes place overnight after the tours in the logistics depot.
The modular battery concept of the eTGX and eTGS offers the option of equipping the vehicle with only 3, 4 or 5 battery packs instead of 6, thus reducing the vehicle weight by up to 2,4 metric tons for more available payload and lower consumption for partial loads or empty runs.
In addition to the CCS standard with up to 375 kW, MAN will be offering the much more powerful megawatt charging standard (MCS) for fast intermediate charging during breaks in driving times right from the start of sales, which will initially enable 750 kW, and in a later expansion stage even more than one megawatt of charging power.
And here, too, MAN has thought of as much flexibility as possible for customer use with different charging station locations at the depots. Two CCS connections can be variably combined on the left and right sides behind the front wheel arch or on the right side of the frame at the rear.
The MAN battery management system ensures that the batteries are always in optimum operating condition with regard to the charging status of the individual cells, voltage and current monitoring, optimum temperature regulation and insulation monitoring during charging and driving.
The modular battery architecture makes the eTGX and eTGS particularly body-friendly. Free spaces on the left or right of the frame for high-performance pumps, equipment stowage areas, crane outriggers and similar body components with increased space requirements can be easily realized thanks to the flexible positioning of the batteries.
The standard installation of 2 batteries under the cab, similar to the combustion engine in conventional vehicles, also ensures favorable weight distribution. The positioning of the central drive unit also contributes to this.
It sits centrally in the frame and comprises the synchronous electric engine, the inverter responsible for converting battery direct current into alternating current and for motor control, and the 2- or 4-speed transmission used depending on the power design, which drives the drive axles proven in the previous vehicle portfolio via a conventional cardan shaft.
Depending on the application configuration, the electric motor produces 333 hp (245 kW), 449 hp (330 kW) or 544 hp (400 kW) with corresponding maximum torque of 800, 1.150 or 1:250 Nm. In overrun and braking phases, the electric engine can be used by the driver as a generator, depending on usage requirements, and converts the vehicle’s kinetic energy back into electrical energy.
The batteries are recharged in the process. The maximum possible recuperation power corresponds to the drive power of the electric engine and is thus comparable to that of today’s high-performance diesel engine endurance brakes. As with these, the automatic shifting of the transmission supports the best possible recuperation with increased engine speeds.
The overall combination of modular battery concept and payload- and body-friendly positioning of the drive unit also allows very short wheelbases from 3,75 m, which makes it possible to combine the semitrailer tractor with all common semitrailer variants within the permissible overall length specifications.
The compact design of the batteries is also the reason why MAN can also offer the new eTruck as a volume variant with a very low frame height for transports with an interior height of three meters. The area of application here is primarily production logistics, for example in the automotive industry, which is particularly predestined for a rapid switch from diesel to electric drive due to its application profiles with their standard transports between logistics hubs.
In an electric vehicle, energy from the batteries is used not only for pure driving, but also for comfort functions such as heating or cooling the driver’s cab.
To make this as efficient as possible, the vehicle’s overall thermal management system intelligently combines the cooling circuits of the cab heating system, the drive unit and the temperature management of the high-voltage batteries to efficiently use excess heat generated during operation for cab heating and only use additional energy from the batteries for this purpose when necessary.
This guarantees good temperature control even under winter conditions in all cab sizes. These are fully in line with the range of today’s diesel series, with a wide cab for the MAN TGX and a narrower one for the MAN TGS, each available in 3 roof height versions.