E-mobility: MAN is preparing its workshops for the mobility revolution
The Munich-based commercial vehicle manufacturer MAN Truck & Bus is expanding its activities in the field of e-mobility and is intensively preparing its European workshops for dealing with electric vehicles. The company is thus ensuring that customers can continue to rely on the extensive MAN service network when it comes to e-mobility.
- 170 workshops will be prepared for electric vehicles by the end of 2021
- Comprehensive expansion of service network and expertise
The transition to e-mobility presents MAN Truck & Bus with a large number of new challenges – not just as a manufacturer of electrically powered vehicles, but also when it comes to service and the aftermarket. For this reason, the company is continuing to pursue its goal of making its service network ready for electric vehicles, despite the coronavirus crisis, and to already start paving the way for the workshop service of tomorrow.
MAN is planning to prepare a total of 110 service outlets in Europe to deal with electric vehicles by the end of 2020. 60 additional workshops are to follow by the end of 2021. In this way, MAN is ensuring that current and future customers of electric trucks, buses/coaches and vans have access to a comprehensive, pan-European service network for their vehicles from an early stage. “Although at the moment just a handful of electric MAN vehicles are operational within Europe, we have already started preparing our workshops with extensive measures for the new requirements of electric vehicles," states Jan Eike Witt, Senior Vice President for After Sales Management at MAN Truck & Bus. "In this way, we are ensuring that our customers can rely on the excellent MAN service that they are used to, and that they know their electric vehicles are in capable hands."
The preparations being made to the existing MAN service workshops have been split into three stages, with a defined level of supervision for the respective service outlets – including support from experts with repairing high-voltage systems, qualifications for workshops to be able to specialise in e-mobility, and helping certain workshops with specialising in the repair of high-voltage batteries (e.g. in the event of an accident). A total of 170 MAN service outlets are expected to be equipped for dealing with electric vehicles by the end of 2021. Expertise will initially be built up at sites where there is already a high volume of electric vehicles. Selected service networks in urban areas are expected to be available for repairing high-voltage vehicles by the end of 2021. MAN will also train a team of experts to be able to work on live batteries for almost every market in Europe.
In addition to developing personnel expertise within workshops, MAN will also equip the workshops with special tools for dealing with high-voltage systems. The company will also implement new processes and working practices in order to ensure electric vehicles are dealt with safely. Each of the selected MAN service partners will also receive at least two trained electrical specialists for vehicle technology. In this way, MAN is ensuring that, in every urban area, there are experts who are trained in dealing with electric vehicles and can also repair them professionally.
The MAN e-mobility concept for workshops also takes into consideration the return, replacement and repair of high-voltage batteries installed in electric vehicles. Particular safety regulations with regard to storage and transportation apply to these batteries. Since the quantities are still low and the costs are relatively high, the concept does not make provision for the storage or repair of batteries within the actual workshops. Instead, in accordance with the safety regulations, returns will be centralised. So when a battery is due to be replaced, it will be sent to the plant.
MAN Truck & Bus is preparing not only the service workshops, but also customers and drivers for the specifics of dealing with electric trucks, buses/coaches and vans. Each customer receives a comprehensive handover guide that contains information and safety notes on their vehicle when purchasing an electric MAN vehicle. Furthermore, customers and their drivers have the opportunity to complete a specific MAN ProfiDrive technical training course which provides even more in-depth information on how to deal with electric vehicles safely and economically.
MAN Truck & Bus already has an e-mobility range within all of its vehicle segments. For example, the fully electric eTGE van has been available in series production since the IAA Commercial Vehicles 2018. Customers have been carrying out practical testing of the electrically powered city bus MAN Lion's City E across Europe since the end of 2019. Series production will start in the fourth quarter of 2020. Finally, small series production of the distribution truck eTGM has been taking place since the start of this year and it has already been sold to various customers in Europe.