ABB, MAN announce megawatt charging, joint R&D plan

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MAN Truck & Bus and ABB E-mobility have entered into an exclusive cooperation agreement to address the challenges of electrifying Europe’s trucking fleet. Their collaboration aims to advance the development of megawatt charging stations, explore new electric vehicle integrations, and develop new software solutions for electric trucks.

“Cooperation in the area of research and development is rather rare in our industry,” offers Thomas Nickels, Senior Vice President Engineering at MAN. “Together with ABB E-mobility, we are striving for a trusting, binding and transparent partnership. We are already starting with the development of products and standards and are focussing on the special requirements of the commercial vehicle industry.”

The “special requirements” for the commercial trucking space include:

  • High-performance charging
  • Reliable charging technology
  • Consumer confidence (in the EV infrastructure)

“(These) are the prerequisites for the success of electromobility in heavy goods and long-distance passenger transport,” says Floris van de Klashorst, Senior Vice President Products & Hardware Platforms at ABB E-mobility. “By working together with MAN right from the early product phase, we can respond even better to the needs of our customers. By 2025, we want to bring a product to the market that meets the requirements of logistics.”

ABB’s team indicated that, while a megawatt charging system (MCS) is important to the overall success of electric semi trucks, its importance is not exclusive to that industry. The press release cited motorhomes, RV, and travel coaches (buses) as additional beneficiaries of widespread MCS availability.

ABB E-mobility has sold more than one million EV chargers across more than 85 markets, including over 50,000 DC fast chargers.

MAN Truck & Bus stands as one of Europe’s major commercial vehicle manufacturers, boasting an annual sales value exceeding 11 billion euros. Their extensive product portfolio encompasses vans, trucks, buses, along with diesel and gas engines, complemented by logistics services for both passenger and freight transport. Notably, MAN has been in the electric vehicle market, selling electric versions of its TGX and TGS trucks since October 2023.

Electrek’s Take

There’s no denying the critical importance of a faster and more reliable charging infrastructure for the logistics industry to fully embrace all-electric trucks in their mainstream fleets. However, the ABB and MAN cooperation doesn’t feel like the most obvious frontrunner in the race to solving these pressing issues.

I’ll be paying closer attention to BYD, Tesla, and the Cummins/Paccar/Daimler joint venture to develop a common heavy equipment battery platform, and expect the big winner in this space to be one of them.

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