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,” says 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 over 6,000 in the Placed. 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.
MAN BatteryPacks from Group-owned commercial vehicles
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 – also known as a battery system – 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 kilometres.
In the context of e-mobility, the lithium-ion battery has gained the greatest importance in recent years. On this basis, MAN developed a special commercial vehicle-specific design of the 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. “We have numerous levers to create the best possible product for our customers, so we use them,” says Dr.-Ing. Michael Bernath, Head of New Powertrain Components Development at MAN Truck & Bus. 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 over 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,” says Haberland.