The Next Frontier: Customer Trials of the Fully Electric MAN Begin

By Billy Gardner - 

Customers, including huge companies such as Aldi, will be testing the trucks over the coming months – using them to fulfil their regular delivery contracts and seeing whether the new MANs measure up.

The lorries in a mountain

The latest producer to start testing electric haulage vehicles is MAN. They have sent a shiny fleet of fully electric-powered HGVs out into the world this month and are waiting to discover their customer’s opinions after they try out the new models.

Trials Begin for Electric HGVs

The last couple of years have seen a lot of talk about the potential of electric vehicles to replace those powered by fossil fuels. There is no doubt that these modern trucks will be better for the environment, a key consideration in this day and age. However, many people are – perhaps righty – cynical about whether the technology in these new drives is good enough. In other words, can they really compete?

MAN is the latest producer to start seriously testing the capacity of alternative-fuel vehicles on the roads. By getting companies to carry out their day-to-day delivery contracts using these vehicles, MAN will determine whether the new drives are ready to hit the market.

Who is MAN?

If you’re not familiar with the company, MAN is a supplier of commercial trucks and vans, operating internationally. They have a huge range on offer for customers already, and this move into more eco-focused products is in response to the needs of the logistics industry.

Using alternative fuel vans and trucks to fulfil delivery contracts solves a lot of problems with regards to lowering emissions and reducing fuel consumption. Governments across Europe are encouraging haulage companies to address environmental issues and MAN’s trucks could be a solution.

Who is Trialling the Trucks?

At the handover a few weeks ago, MAN’s HGVs were given to Spar, Quehenberger Logistics and Hofter (Aldi in Austria). A tractor was given to Magna Steyr, the plant equipment haulier. There are only nine eTGMs and each will be thoroughly tested.

Getting Technical

Each MAN has an electric motor in the centre of the frame and lithium-ion batteries below the cab. There are 6×2 and 4×2 configurations available, including reefer and swap bodies. The larger 6×2, 26-tonne model has twelve batteries and can run to 120 miles per charge. The smaller 4×2 model has just eight batteries and a lower range of eighty miles.

It remains to be seen whether these fully-electric MANs will be a satisfactory replacement for ordinary trucks. Either way, it looks like we are getting closer to electric trucks being the norm on the motorways of the UK. In the meantime, our Freight Exchange platform can help you subcontract loads, increasing your profit, growing your company and maybe helping you save up for an electric HGV.

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