MAN Lion’s City 18 E electric bus, the first vehicles from series production will be handed over next year. The bus stands out for featuring 640 kWh battery and two driven axles, in order to allow more power as well as more energy recuperation during braking. Only depot charging is permitted, as for the Lion’s City 12 E. Sales of the articulated electric bus by MAN already started, it was announced in May.
Towards the MAN Lion’s City E 18 articulated
The «first 17 Lion’s City 12 E from series production will be delivered by the end of this year. And in mid-2021 the first articulated Lion’s City E will be delivered from series production», Senior Vice President Product & Sales Bus Rudi Kuchta pointed out during the MAN Experience Press Days 2020 event, held today (and tomorrow) online.
MAN Truck & Bus plans for the future, in the CEO’s Andreas Tostmann words, are the following: «By 2025, 50 per cent of our bus sales will be equipped with alternative powertrains. In 2030, 60 per cent of distribution vehicles will have emission-free drivetrains. In 2030, 40 per cent of long distance vehicles will be emission-free».
MAN Truck & Bus, restructuring underway
On 11 September 2020, MAN Truck & Bus Executive Board announced a ‘company’s comprehensive realignment plan’ that involve an extensive restructuring of the company. in order to «make MAN Truck & Bus significantly more digital, automated, and profitable in the long run. In the future, the focus will also be on alternative drive systems». Due to coronavirus pandemic, the groups says it reported a loss of €387 million in the first half of the year.
Now, in the framework of the restructuring plan, 9,500 jobs across all areas of the company in Germany, Austria and worldwide will be cut up. «This is linked to relocating some of the development and production processes to other sites. It also means that the production site in Steyr and the modification sites in Plauen and Wittlich are up for negotiation. The details of how these cuts can be implemented in a socially responsible manner will form part of the talks with the Works Council», MAN pointed out.
MAN Lion’s City E 18 articulated, coming soon
With regards to the Lion’s City E 18 articulated e-bus, Isabel Jeschek, MAN Product Launch Manager, explained: «We see a trend towards zero emission vehicles but also towards bigger vehicles, capable of carrying more people. Under favorable conditions, the Lion’s City E can reach 270 km of range. Intelligent battery technology comes from our group. The 640 kWh battery modules are all positioned on the roof, so that there is nothing in the interior, no batteries and no engine tower. So the interior can belong entirely to passengers». Nothing is mounted on the floor.
With regards to social responsibility and the hot topic of cobalt mining, Senior Vice President Product & Sales Bus Rudi Kuchta said: «Today our batteries, developed within the group, include cobalt but we are going to avoid this element in the next generation».
City bus operation soon electric
Around two thirds of city bus operations will be electric by 2030. It’s the assumption that is guiding MAN Truck & Bus along a strategy that is culminating in the mass production of the MAN Lion’s City E from the second half of 2020.
The fully electric version of the new MAN Lion’s City city bus has been unveiled at the 2018 IAA for Commercial Vehicles. This tops off MAN’s new generation of city buses, following on from diesel and gas engines with a zero-emissions variant.
Its most striking feature is the lack of a rear engine compartment, with the batteries installed on the roof, making room for an ideal seating area at the back. MAN points out that this positioning moves the batteries away from the vehicle’s rear, which is vulnerable in the event of a crash. Furthermore, it allows for more design flexibility, more pleasant lighting and up to four additional seats in the interior.
MAN electric buses, a wide roadmap
As part of the e-mobility roadmap, MAN has launched intensive field trials with the new electric bus in order to gain practical experience in regular-service operations. In 2020, the demo fleet of 15 electric buses will then be running customers’ services in five European countries (Germany, Spain,Luxembourg, Belgium, France).
Back in December 2019, MAN Truck & Bus delivered the first two 12-metre electric buses to the transport operators Hamburger Hochbahn AG and Verkehrsbetriebe Hamburg-Holstein GmbH for everyday use in the Hanseatic port city. MAN will also hand over the 18-metre electric bus to the transport operators Kölner Verkehrs-Betriebe AG (KVB) in Cologne and Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona (TMB) in Spain, in order to conduct the planned practical testing there, too.