Through its MAN Engines business unit, MAN Truck & Bus offers industrial customers the opportunity to use batteries in their mobile and stationary applications. Applications in the agricultural machinery sector, material handling, railway applications, special vehicles such as airport equipment and municipal vehicles, but also marine applications are possible.
In the field of electricity storage, there are numerous fields of application for charging concepts in the industrial sector, such as mobile power supply or fast-charging stations based on the principle of a power bank, as well as storage systems for renewable energies or peak load balancing.
We are already gaining initial experience with selected customers in classic applications. In the future, we will use this to develop future projects in mobile or stationary applications. These could be, for example, vehicles for autonomous freight or passenger transport or smart energy systems.—Jürgen Haberland, Head of Power MAN Engines
MAN Truck & Bus already has many years of experience with batteries and battery packs through its many of the Group’s own electrically powered commercial vehicles: the all-electric eTGE van was already marketed as a series vehicle in 2018, the medium-duty series of the battery-electric truck eTGM has been in customer use for urban delivery traffic since 2018, and more than 1,000 units of the Lion’s City E electric bus have already been produced, bringing the total number of battery packs to more than 6,000.
With 260 electric buses in the first half of 2023, MAN ranks second in terms of new registrations in Europe. The next member of MAN’s battery-powered, all-electric vehicle family will be the eTGX and eTGS heavy-duty trucks from 2024.
The electrically powered trucks and buses from MAN Truck & Bus are based on the MAN BatteryPacks, which MAN Engines is now adapting and marketing for other industrial applications.
In general, a MAN BatteryPack consists of several battery modules that are brought together in two to four layers in the battery housing. In turn, many battery cells are combined in each battery module. Due to the different arrangement options for the modules, differently designed MAN BatteryPacks, so-called form factors, can be produced.
Each MAN BatteryPack contains 89 kWh of energy, of which 80 kWh can be used. Thanks to three different form factors—from almost square to elongated—there are possibilities for integration into a wide variety of installation spaces. Currently, up to six MAN BatteryPacks can be combined with each other to achieve system capacities of up to 480 kWh net. A MAN eTruck of the heavy-duty model series thus achieves daily ranges of up to 800 kilometers.
MAN developed a special commercial vehicle-specific design of the Li-ion battery cell with a focus on the properties of cell chemistry, charging cycles, mechanical robustness, vibration resistance and service life. The low weight and fast-charging capability make the nickel-manganese-cobalt (NMC) battery as a variant of the lithium-ion battery the means of choice for battery-electric commercial vehicle concepts.
Due to the great importance of cell properties for the performance of batteries, MAN plays a key role in determining the cell chemistry as well as the cathode and anode material.
The requirements for the battery in the truck sector clearly exceed those in the passenger car sector: almost 500 kWh capacity, more than 8 years of efficient service life or mechanical load capacity of more than 1.2 million kilometres, to name just a few.
The cell chemistry of our MAN BatteryPacks is designed to meet the highest demands. Our customers in the industrial sector also benefit from this.—Jürgen Haberland, Head of Power MAN Engines
In order to ensure that the strict requirements for the quality and safety of the batteries can be met, MAN Truck & Bus will manufacture the batteries in large series at the Nuremberg site from the beginning of 2025. The former international competence center for internal combustion engines is thus also developing into the linchpin for battery expertise in the MAN Group and is strategically realigning itself to this end.
On an area of around 16,000 square meters, intelligently interlinked assembly and logistics systems can produce up to 100,000 battery packs per year. The groundbreaking ceremony on 9 October 2023, marked the start of large-scale battery production with an investment volume of €100 million.
The know-how for the development and production of high-voltage battery systems has been built up at the Nuremberg site since 2020 in the battery pilot plant as a pre-series center. To this end, investments have already been made in the infrastructure for the development areas in advance. Clear core competencies have emerged: These are the design and testing of battery housings, the assembly of battery systems, cell and module development as well as the development of battery management systems (BMS) such as control units, hardware and software for controlling the battery.