While the data concerning the implementation of the electric vehicle is advancing at a record pace, the transport of goods by road is somewhat lagging behind. There are still few brands that have launched electric models, although there are many plans on the table. MAN, one of the main players in the sector, has just announced that it is accelerating its electrical programme. If plans go the way they are set, the brand plans to launch its new electric fleet in early 2024..
That’s 12 months earlier than originally thought. MAN has long been behind the development of electric trucks; Some time ago it presented in society several prototypes of emission-free vehicles, heavy trucks to be able to carry out the toughest jobs, and its focus is on two different paths: electrification and hydrogen-based mobility. Although some voices affirm that fuel cells are not viable for passenger cars, they are postulated as an interesting alternative for road transport.
The product portfolio of MAN, a manufacturer integrated into the Volkswagen Group conglomerate, is very diverse. From full-size vans based on the Volkswagen Crafter, to heavy-duty trucks or long-distance buses. At the moment, the electric units sold in our country are very limited, with the first operating since May 2021. The landing of technologies will be done gradually and depending on how charging infrastructures progress.
MAN wants to pick up the pace and that is why it plans to launch its new range of electrical products from 2024. A first batch of 200 units will begin its journey on the Munich assembly lines. Goals for hydrogen trucks are set for the longer term; the German company estimates that its landing will not take place before 2030: “Only when there is enough green hydrogen and the corresponding infrastructure improves a lot will we start using H2 trucks in selected application areas.”
The company is also aware that buying an electric truck is not an easy step for professionals. For that reason, plans to offer a range of ancillary and support services to its customers such as integrated digital solutions and collection offers. In addition to that, other possibilities are being studied, such as the installation of charging points or other services that help drivers take the step to leave fossil fuels behind.
To avoid dependence on other manufacturers, MAN plans to produce a large part of its batteries. In fact, they are already doing it since last spring. The technical center within the Nuremberg facility has already produced the first battery packs, originally intended for internal testing. In the next step, it is expected to deliver various test units to various clients to undertake the testing phase in real conditions, which is where the real capabilities must be demonstrated.