MAN Truck and Bus, a commercial subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group, began electrifying in 2020. It currently offers a few electrified versions of its trucks, buses and vans. Now the company says it will make the transition to all-electric powertrains, beginning in 2024.
In a recent interview with Handelsblatt, MAN CEO Dr. Andreas Tostmann said that, in the first phase of its electrification strategy, the company planned to launch vehicles with ranges around 500 kilometers. A future wave of e-trucks will have ranges from 700 to 1,000 km, making them suitable for long-haul routes.
“My job is to implement the future plan for MAN,” said Tostmann, adding that MAN will be pursuing battery-electric powertrains, not fuel cells. “Cost parity with diesel will be reached faster with electric drive than with a fuel cell.”
Tostmann says MAN has been testing series production of its e-trucks on a pilot line since June. The company has been producing electric transit buses since 2020, and is already second only to Mercedes in the European market. “We assume that by 2030 nine out of ten city buses will be delivered with electric drives,” he told Handelsblatt.
According to Handelsblatt, Tostmann is under pressure from the Volkswagen Group to deliver financial results. For years, MAN has suffered from excessively high costs and overcapacity—over the last year, it has eliminated 3,500 jobs and sold a truck plant as cost-cutting measures. MAN’s sister company Scania has been generating a return of well over ten percent, while MAN achieved just 3.3 percent in the first half of 2021. As its markets steadily transition to electric drive, MAN’s dependence on diesel is now seen as a liability. The parent company’s board has reportedly called the situation “one last chance for MAN.”