Photo: MAN press materials

MAN targets 800km range with new prototype electric truck

German commercial vehicle manufacturer MAN has shown off a new electric truck prototype that it says will feature megawatt charging and a range of up to 800km. The vehicle was unveiled at a press event held last Friday on the grounds of the former Berlin Tempelhof Airport - just a day before the Formula E race.

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MAN describes the prototype, which is intended to be launched in 2024,  as a “trailblazing electric commercial vehicle”, largely thanks to its capacity for future megawatt charging.

The unveiling of MAN’s prototype electric truck was conducted in partnership with ABB E-mobility, who provide charging solutions for electric vehicles. The latter party aims to bring megawatt charging technology to market maturity in the next three years.

The two companies believe the combination of their respective projects represents the next phase of electromobility: operational capability for heavy-duty long-haul trucking with daily ranges between 600 and 800 kilometers. The two companies also believe that the industry is ready to proceed, and that legislators must establish the policy framework for zero-emission road haulage.

“We need to decarbonize road freight transport to achieve our climate targets. To make this happen, we are focusing above all on the market ramp-up of climate friendly commercial vehicles and the development of a corresponding high-performance charging infrastructure. The project we are supporting on high-performance charging for e-trucks on the A2 is providing important learnings. What is important now, is to get more e-trucks on the road quickly. The partnership between MAN and ABB shows that we are on the right track,” said Federal Minister of Digital and Transport Dr. Volker Wissing.

During the minister’s test drive in the MAN electric truck, Alexander Vlaskamp, CEO of MAN Truck & Bus, emphasized that “accelerating the expansion of the charging infrastructure is the only way to achieve the evolution of transport and meet climate targets.”

To enable long-distance daily ranges between 600 and 800 kilometers, the MAN electric truck, due to be launched in 2024, is already equipped with the technical prerequisites for future megawatt charging systems. ABB E-mobility intends to bring such charging systems to market quickly.

“We aim to facilitate electromobility in all areas. At ABB E-mobility we have been working on developing the corresponding performance standards for many years. Megawatt charging will require new power technology with more than 1,000 volts, so systemic electrical safety and reliability are essential at these power levels and for the foreseeable use cases. ABB E-mobility is the ideal provider to take on these challenges, as we can significantly accelerate research and development based on our existing technologies. Our shared ambition is to bring this new technology to market within three years. In the past, such development phases have often taken much longer,” said Frank Mühlon, CEO of ABB E-mobility.

Finally, the two companies are of the view that a binding and uniform standard is crucial for the introduction of megawatt charging technology. They believe Germany could set benchmarks here: more than 20 partners from industry and science, including MAN and ABB, are working on the high-performance charging project (known as „HoLa” in German), which is funded by the German government and is the world’s first megawatt charging project.

Two high-performance charging points with megawatt charging systems (MCS) are being built at four locations along the A2 federal highway. The project is intended to serve as the basis for nationwide expansion.