MAN Truck & Bus will start series production of the new electric truck at its Munich plant in 2024. The company has already trained 2,600 employees in the safe handling of high-voltage technology and new electric components in more than 17,000 training hours at the eMobility Centre created specifically for this purpose. The first series-produced electric trucks are expected to roll out to customers as early as the first half of 2024. Already now, about four months before the official sales launch, there are more than 500 order requests for the electric lion suitable for long-distance transport.
In order to ensure the smoothest possible production start-up of the new electric trucks, MAN has developed a completely new concept for production preparation with the eMobility Center. The future-oriented model includes not only the new electric truck but also vehicles with conventional drive systems – because both types of drive will be produced on the same production line in the future.
“In order for the transformation from combustion engine to electric truck to succeed sustainably in large industrial quantities, we must also rethink production. In particular, the phase in which our customers are already demanding electric trucks in larger quantities but still need diesel trucks for certain routes requires innovative and efficient networking of product development and production planning. The integrative concept of the eMobility Center helps us enormously in this,” says Michael Kobriger, Executive Board Member for Production at MAN Truck & Bus.
In the innovative laboratory workshop, the necessary processes for future series production are developed directly during the production of the first prototype vehicles and, in parallel, the employees are already trained and qualified in the use of the new technologies. Conversely, they can contribute their know-how from practical manufacturing experience to the efficient and ergonomic design of production at an early stage.
At the same time, requirements for later series production are incorporated into the vehicle development from the very beginning. Around 30 prototypes of the new eTruck have already been created in this way at the eMobility Centre, and 26 more will follow this year. They are used by the test engineers for the toughest test drives in ice, snow and blazing heat to bring the new MAN eTruck closer to series production in big steps.
Compared to the conventionally powered truck, the electric truck naturally differs through completely different components such as electric battery and motor as well as high-voltage components and wiring. This makes the joint production of conventional and battery-electric vehicles on one production line comparatively complex. The variable installation of batteries and electric motor on the one hand or internal combustion engine powertrain on the other will in future be made possible by modular components that can be used uniformly, especially in the chassis and wiring. The great advantage of this mixed production: The respective share of electric vehicles and diesel trucks in the total production can be flexibly adapted to the actual market development.
It is just two years since MAN laid the foundation stone for the development of the upcoming large-scale electric truck and the associated demand-flexible mixed production of electric and conventional trucks on one assembly line with the eMobility Center.
SOURCE: MAN Truck & Bus