MAN and ABB to jointly develop charging solutions

MAN Truck & Bus and ABB E-mobility have signed an exclusive cooperation agreement for technical collaboration. The first area of strategic cooperation is megawatt charging (MCS).

Image: MAN

Early software and interoperability tests with vehicles and charging stations “should help to establish reliable products as quickly as possible in an emerging market environment,” the companies state. That is why the cooperation, initially set to run for three years, will focus on customer experience “in addition to the internal development and further development of charging stations, vehicles and software.”

One thing is clear: the commercial vehicle industry has different requirements for EV charging than private customers. So far, however, each player in the commercial vehicle sector has developed its own solutions, at least the specific solutions that go beyond industry initiatives such as the MCS. “Cooperation in the area of research and development is rather rare in our industry,” says Thomas Nickels, Senior Vice President of 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 partners and other players want to establish megawatt charging according to the MCS to enable sustainable and economical long-distance transport of heavy goods and passengers. “By cooperating with ABB E-mobility, we can tackle the challenges of the new technology at an early stage and drive standardisation forward more quickly,” Nickels continues. In the press release, MAN cites challenges such as the ISO15118-20 communication standard and new signal transmission methods. The basis for megawatt charging is Ethernet communication, used for the first time in e-mobility.

First joint product to launch in 2025

Potential errors must be identified and corrected during software and interoperability tests to avoid problems for the first users of MCS-capable electric trucks. Floris van de Klashorst, Senior Vice President of Products & Hardware Platforms at ABB E-mobility, announces that there should be a product “that meets the requirements of logistics” by 2025.

Although the MCS is usually associated with electric trucks, it will become an overarching standard for megawatt charging. The cooperation between MAN and ABB E-mobility is thus not limited to logistics. “MCS will also be used in future in the travel sector, for example for motorhomes and coaches. This will bring additional challenges and a change in user behaviour,” says van de Klashorst.

And it’s not just user behaviour that will differ from the previously car-dominated EV experience. For instance, truck and bus drivers have to take mandatory breaks. The requirements for installing MCS charging infrastructure will also differ to some extent from CCS charging parks, whether in public locations or depots. The systems, from the grid connection to the charging station, must be designed to meet the space requirements and energy supply, and the grid must also be expanded accordingly.

CCS charging (relatively slow from a lorry perspective) will also play a role in the future – e.g., in depots or due to its widespread use. MCS-capable electric trucks will only find an MCS charging station at some service stations, at least not in the early days. That is why “the market needs an ecosystem that interlocks and works reliably,” says van de Klashorst.,


about „MAN and ABB to jointly develop charging solutions“

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