MAN Truck & Bus launches e-offensive for trucks

  • Preparations for the large-scale production launch of the MAN eTruck are in full swing
  • Sales start in first markets already at the end of October
  • Groundbreaking for new large-scale battery production in Nuremberg has been done
  • Up to 100,000 MAN battery packs per year starting in 2025
  • 100 million € total investment for battery production
  • MAN is already using new eTruck in its own plant logistics

After vans and city buses, commercial vehicle manufacturer MAN Truck & Bus is now also putting its trucks under electric power. Sales of the new MAN eTruck will start on October 30, with the first units rolling out to selected customers in 2024. The in-house production of battery packs at MAN's Nuremberg site plays an important role in the electrification strategy.

This is where Lord Mayor Marcus König and MAN Board Member for Production Michael Kobriger symbolically broke ground for the start of construction of the new M50 battery building. From 2025, up to 100,000 high-voltage batteries will be manufactured there in large-scale production, in particular for the new MAN eTruck suitable for long-distance transport, but also for powering city buses and, in future, coaches. The tradition-rich Nuremberg engine plant thus plays a central role as MAN's center of excellence for alternative drive technologies.

"The mobility shift toward electrically powered road haulage is changing the entire industry in an unprecedented way. MAN is actively helping to shape the change. Our transformation into a provider of sustainable and intelligent transport solutions is visible everywhere in the Company - especially here in Nuremberg. With the efficient realignment of the company and the sustainable conversion of the entire production network, we have made a major leap toward the future in the last two years. The market launch of our new MAN eTruck now in October is an essential milestone in this regard, and batteries from Nuremberg are the key enabler for its large-scale production from 2025," says Kobriger.

A good two years after the decision was made in favor of Nuremberg as the site for future battery volume production, MAN has started construction of the battery building. Up to now, batteries have been produced at the site in manual small-batch production. In the future, 350 new jobs will be created on a total area of just over 16,000 square meters, as well as intelligently linked assembly and logistics facilities. The development of large-scale battery production, including the new building, involves investments in logistics, infrastructure, buildings and production facilities totaling around 100 million euros.

Strong partnerships pave the way for electromobility

The expertise for the development and production of high-voltage battery packs has already been built up at the Nuremberg site since 2020, and the electric competencies of the employees are being successively expanded within the framework of small-series production and a prototype area. By the end of 2024, the first customer vehicles will still be served from this small series, before the batteries from the new large-scale production will be available from 2025 for the electric truck production in Munich, which will then also be ramped up in large quantities.The new battery-electric drives require increased knowledge and expertise not only in production but also in development. In addition to support and funding from the Free State of Bavaria, MAN's Nuremberg site is building strong partnerships with local universities in the area of research and development. At the beginning of 2023, the "Campus Future Driveline" was inaugurated on the Nuremberg plant site. There, MAN developers are working together with students and professors from the Friedrich Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (FAU) and the Nuremberg University of Technology Georg Simon Ohm (Ohm) on projects in the areas of batteries, hydrogen combustion engines, and fuel cells.

MAN eTruck: Logistics practice already in series development

To ensure that electric trucks can replace today's diesel vehicles as quickly as possible, MAN's top priority is to ensure their unrestricted practicality right from the start of series production. To this end, MAN established its own transport company, LoadFox Transport Solutions GmbH, in December 2022 in order to test and optimize the new technology in real-world operation on common internal plant logistics routes at an early stage. Since the beginning of October, the first fully electric MAN eTrucks have been operating between the German sites in Munich, Dachau, Nuremberg, and Salzgitter. At a later date, transports to the Polish sites in Krakow and Starachowice will be added. In addition to the intensive use of battery-electric vehicles in real factory traffic, LoadFox will also increasingly integrate autonomous driving functions into logistics practice from 2024. "Through the targeted collection of data and experience in practical use, we can significantly accelerate the development and quality checks of hardware and software for future products and services with LoadFox," says Florian Hagemann, Managing Director of LoadFox GmbH, explaining the advantages that result from the innovative concept for product development.

With this fine-tuning from the logistics process, the new MAN eTruck will roll out to the first customers in 2024. Thanks to its preparation for the megawatt charging standard, which is expected to be available from 2025, it will achieve daily ranges of between 600 and 800 kilometers suitable for long-distance transport, and in the future even up to 1,000 kilometers with just one intermediate charge during the driver's 45-minute break from driving. But the new MAN eTruck will also easily cover most of the other typical transport tasks of today's trucks, such as low-noise and emission-free waste disposal in the city or collecting milk from organic farmers with an electric food tanker.