MAN to build battery factory in Germany

By Chad Elmore30 June 2022

MAN Truck & Bus to establish large-scale production of batteries for electric trucks and buses at Nuremberg site

battery electric vehicle The MAN Lion City E city bus will be supplied with battery packs from Nuremberg, Germany, in the future. (Photo: MAN)

MAN Truck & Bus said it will manufacture high-voltage batteries for electric trucks and buses in large-scale production at its Nuremberg, Germany, site from the beginning of 2025. To this end, the company will reportedly invest around 100 million euros over the next five years at the production site for internal combustion engines. The goal is to expand production capacities to over 100,000 batteries per year. The investments in the development of battery production is expected to secure 350 jobs. 

Initially, the batteries, which form the heart of electric commercial vehicle drives, will be manufactured manually at the MAN plant in Nuremberg in a small series production for about two and a half years. Construction of large-scale production is scheduled to start in mid-2023 and to be completed by the end of 2024.

The commercial vehicle manufacturer is receiving support from the Bavarian State Government, which has promised a contribution of around 30 million euros to energy research and technology funding for the period 2023 to 2027, provided that the funding and budgetary requirements are met. These funds will be used to conduct research in battery assembly, cell chemistry and development, battery safety, and ultimately battery recycling to ensure the sustainability of the propulsion mode.

Alexander Vlaskamp (left), CEO MAN Truck & Bus, in conversation with Dr. Markus Söder, Prime Minister of Bavaria, Germany, during the symbolic start of battery production at the MAN Nuremberg site. (Photo: MAN)

“We are now starting to industrialize electromobility and continue on our path to climate-neutral mobility in commercial vehicles,” said Alexander Vlaskamp, Chairman of the Executive Board of MAN Truck & Bus SE. “It is a groundbreaking location and investment decision for the next decades. At the same time, it is part of MAN’s transformation into a provider of sustainable transport solutions. This now paves the way for a commercial vehicle e-cluster “made in Bavaria”, consisting of the production of e-trucks at MAN in Munich, battery production in Nuremberg, research & development at both locations and excellent cooperation with the respective colleges, universities and institutes. With our investment decision, we are securing around 350 jobs at the Nuremberg site and hundreds if not thousands of jobs in Germany. Such important decisions can only be made in close cooperation with all parties involved from the employer and employee sides as well as politics.”

Depending on the range, a heavy electric truck needs up to six battery packs. This will initially give MAN’s e-trucks a range of 600 to 800 km. In the next generation of battery technology, ranges of up to 1000 km are expected from around 2026. This will finally make the e-truck suitable for long-distance transport, said the company.

MAN Truck & Bus said it predicts that around the middle of the current decade, the total cost of ownership for an e-truck and a diesel-powered one will be at the same level. MAN therefore expects customer demand for e-vehicles to increase significantly by then at the latest – assuming the appropriate charging infrastructure is in place.

The production of heavy e-trucks will start at MAN in Munich at the beginning of 2024. The manufacturer has already put a small series on the road in 2019. MAN has also had fully electric city buses and vans on the market for some time.

The Nuremberg plant looks back on a long tradition. With a history dating back around 180 years, it is one of MAN’s roots - the “N” that is part of the company’s name stands for the name of the city. Trucks or components have been manufactured in Nuremberg for over 100 years. Today, for example, the site with its approximately 3600 employees is responsible for the development, production, and external sales of all MAN diesel and gas engines.

With electrification, the company said a new chapter is beginning for the Nuremberg production and development site, which is also expected to take on tasks within the Traton Group. With the start of battery production, MAN Truck & Bus said it is strengthening its position in the group as a competence partner for electromobility.

A battery pack for the MAN eTruck. (Photo: MAN)
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