The VW commercial vehicle brand MAN has announced the launch of a new digital service for the Lion’s City E bus in 2020. The MAN eManager is to serve as a kind of digital command center for fleet managers.
The MAN eManager is based on the cloud-based Rio platform from MAN’s parent company Traton. According to an announcement from MAN, the software will allow the battery of the electric bus to be recharged in time for the start of the journey, and fleet managers will also have access to room temperature and other vehicle information. In short, the tool should enable fleet operators to manage their electric buses from their desks.
Above all, public transport operators should be able to use the software to control the battery charge management – in the 12-meter solo bus, this holds up to 480 kWh, in the 18-meter articulated bus it is 640 kWh. In the eManager, fleet managers should be able to determine whether the vehicle is to be charged immediately or only at a later time – in this way, the state of charge should always match the timetable. For example, a departure time could also be defined for a specific vehicle or weekday. The software then starts the loading process accordingly. If there is a problem, the software notifies the fleet manager.
The same applies to the temperature of the passenger compartment: this can be preset for optimum energy management. If it is too hot or too cold, the passenger compartment is heated accordingly. This should not only result in a comfortable room temperature for passengers from the time of departure, but also save battery charge.
In addition to these basic functions, which will still be available in 2020, users will be able to book optional services in the course of the coming year. The communication mentions “detailed vehicle and battery monitoring” as an example, but also analyses such as total energy consumption and individual consumption data for the powertrain, air conditioning and other units.
“With MAN eManager, bus operators will have an efficient, cost-conscious tool for managing the scheduling of their electric fleets and carrying out daily operational planning,” says Rudi Kuchta, Head of Business Unit Bus, MAN Truck & Bus.
But MAN is not alone with such a digital platform: Daimler, for example, offers such functions for the eCitaro under the name “OMNIplus”, and companies like ViriCiti have also specialized in such services for electric bus fleets.