Batteries part of MAN stand at Agritechnica
09 November 2023
Company plans full production by 2025
Through its MAN Engines business unit, MAN Truck & Bus is offering industrial customers batteries for use in mobile and stationary applications, including agricultural machinery, material handling, railway applications and specialty vehicles
“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,” said Jürgen Haberland, Head of Power MAN Engines.
MAN Truck & Bus said it 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 marketed as a production 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 reportedly been produced, bringing the total number of battery packs to over 6,000.
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 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, the company said different BatteryPacks can be produced.
Each BatteryPack contains 89 kWh of energy, of which 80 kWh can be used. Thanks to three different form factors – from almost square to elongated – the company said 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.
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.
MAN said 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. The company said it 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,” said 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, said MAN.
“The cell chemistry of our MAN BatteryPacks is designed to meet the highest demands. Our customers in the industrial sector also benefit from this,” said Haberland.
MAN Truck & Bus said it will manufacture the batteries in large series of up to 100,000 BatteryPacks at its Nuremberg, Germany, site from the beginning of 2025.
“In Nuremberg, we are bundling all key capacities, know-how and resources on the subject of batteries. This ranges from research, prototype development and construction, extensive testing, appropriate production design and manufacturing to dismantling, quality assurance and remanufacturing,” said Dr. Markus Pröpster, senior manager at the E-Mobility Technical Center in Nuremberg.
The groundbreaking ceremony on Oct. 9, 2023, marked the start of large-scale battery production with an investment of 100 million euros.
“We offer the combination of the best cell and the best operating strategy and only then do we have the best possible properties for our batteries,” said Bernath.
As a business unit of MAN Truck & Bus, MAN Engines said has long developed customer- and application-specific solutions for decades with diesel and gas engines for applications in agricultural and rail technology, commercial and leisure shipping, and power generation. On the basis of the sophisticated combustion engines tested in commercial vehicles, engineers with the appropriate industry know-how further develop existing engines or assemblies and thus create leading drive solutions on the water and off the road. These experiences can be used identically for battery production for industrial customers, said the company.
“Our battery customers benefit from the advantages of large-scale production and receive specific prototypes and small series optimally developed for their application at the same location. At the same time, MAN Engines operates a global service network, which will also be available to our battery customers in the future,” said Haberland.
The MAN BatteryPack and other products and solutions with which MAN Engines is making its contribution to decarbonization will be on display at Agritechnica from 12 to 18 November 2023. MAN Engines will be exhibiting in the “Systems & Components” area in Hall 15, Stand G05.