MAN promotes sustainable mobility concepts
Electromobility and local public transportation have to be linked
Trucks that run purely on electricity are not a realistic alternative at present. This was the message emphasized by Dr. Pachta-Reyhofen, CEO of MAN SE, at the Commercial Vehicle Symposium of the VDA (German Association of the Automotive Industry) in Berlin. The battery alone would cost around €300,000 at the very least and it would add some 6 tons more. “This means that customers would have to transport significantly less with an electric truck. The traffic on our roads would increase,” said Pachta-Reyhofen.
This kind of vehicle would also have to recharge its battery every day for 26 hours after a ten-hour journey. The number of trucks would have to double in order to render the same transportation performance. By contrast, hybrid drives offer many benefits and combine the best of both worlds: the perfected technology of the diesel engine with the zero emissions and silence of electric drive. “In addition, vehicles with hybrid drive do not require idle time for charging and there is no risk of an explosive rise in costs for the purchaser,” explained Pachta-Reyhofen.
The MAN CEO went on to emphasize the opportunities that electromobility offers to cut CO2 emissions and noise in downtown traffic. “However, we will only solve the real problems of downtowns when we combine electric drive with efficient local public transportation to form a sustainable, end-to-end mobility concept.” Transportation concepts for downtowns would have to promote the efficient, cost-effective, and eco- and climate-friendly mobility of goods and people — “and only the big players can do this: namely bus and rail.”
By contrast, optimized aerodynamics plays a key role in long-haul transportation. Pachta-Reyhofen explained that further improvements to engines, auxiliary systems, and external design would only reduce the fuel consumption of vehicles slightly. The really large savings when it comes to fuel, and as a result CO2, lie in aerodynamic improvements: “MAN’s Concept S study shows that a more aerodynamic shape could save up to 25 percent fuel. But in order to put this into practice in reality, we need policymakers at international level to give us the green light for new vehicle dimensions.”