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MAN’s New eTruck

There is a push by some people to stop using oil and turn to alternative forms of energy.  There is also a counter push to keep using oil because it is the cheapest and most effective energy source out there.  Everyone has an opinion on energy.  However, everyone can agree that exploiting every energy source available is a good idea. 

In the trucking industry, this means the development of electric semi-trucks.  Many companies have electric semi-trucks in development right now and some of them will be ready for the market soon.  One of these companies is MAN, which is Volkswagen’s heavy truck division.

MAN has developed an eTruck, which has a gross vehicle weight rate between 12 and 26 tons, and begins tests on it later in 2017, which will be conducted by nine of the largest transportation companies in Austria as well as the Council for Sustainable Logistics.  They will provide data on how it performs during medium and heavy-duty service.  MAN will then use that data to improve it because they have big plans.  They want to put it into production by 2021. 

Now, MAN is not new to the electric vehicle scene.  They developed a City-Truck concept vehicle a few years ago that has a 250 kW electric motor, which produces 2,700 Nm of torque, and a lithium-ion battery.  It can haul just as much as its diesel counterpart, MAN’s TGS model range, and has a range of 200 kilometers. 

It seems like electric trucks will do well in Europe, but America is a different story.  The Continental United States is much bigger than the European continent.  Trucking companies cannot use electric trucks that only have a range of 200 km, just over 124 miles, to make cross-country trips.  However, they could use them for shorter trips and save their diesel reserves for those longer trips.  

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