They are very popular: eBuses. More and more public transport operators are converting to a completely emission-free bus fleet and relying on fully electric vehicles such as the MAN Lion’s City E. For example, Verkehrsbetriebe Hamburg-Holstein GmbH (VHH) recently awarded a framework contract for up to 100 MAN Lion’s City 12 E – the fourth time it has opted for MAN eBuses. “We are very pleased about such follow-up orders. After all, they clearly show how satisfied the company is with our innovative and reliable electric vehicles,” says Robert Katzer, Head of Sales & Product Bus at MAN Truck & Bus. The company has been ordering exclusively buses with zero-emission drives for its Hamburg service area since 2020. The first 48 eBuses from the new framework agreement with MAN are to be delivered as early as the turn of the year 2023/2024.
But it is not “only” in Hamburg that eBuses are increasingly being seen making their rounds in the cities. Scandinavia in particular is considered one of the pioneers when it comes to electromobility. This is also reflected in the order figures: By the end of 2023, more than 370 electrically powered MAN city buses are to be in operation here. One of the latest orders is for 45 MAN Lion’s City 12 E buses from VIKINGBUS Danmark A/S. The transport company will in future operate routes in Copenhagen as well as on Frederiksberg, in Lyngby, Greve and Høje Taastrup in Denmark. Anchersen A/S had already ordered 25 eBuses from MAN in 2021, which are now in use on the central Copenhagen bus route 7A. “But our MAN Lion’s City E has also been excellently received in Norway and Sweden. The Norwegian transport operator Unibuss, for example, has ordered 76 MAN Lion’s City E from us,” says Katzer.
eBus market to grow by 26 percent in Europe in 2022
Across Europe, the market for electric buses grew by 26 percent last year. This means that almost every third newly registered city bus in Europe is now emission-free. MAN Truck & Bus is also consistently pursuing the path towards sustainable local public transport and is fully committed to electric drive. “In order to successfully follow this path, we are making our employees fit for the new technology and advising our customers on the changeover,” says Robert Katzer, adding: “With the MAN Lion’s City E, we also already have a very successful eBus series in our portfolio.”
Well over 1,000 orders have already been received for the MAN electric bus, whose series production started in 2020. Since then, it has been impressing entrepreneurs as well as bus drivers and passengers with its range, reliability, sustainability and comfort. Day after day, around 450 MAN eBuses in regular service throughout Europe are already proving how powerful, suitable for everyday use and reliable modern electric vehicles are. “One thing is certain, however: we want to put significantly more electric buses on the road. By 2025, half of our new city buses will be electric, and just five years later, up to 90 percent of our buses in Europe will be battery-powered. We also have our sights set on the electrification of intercity buses and coaches,” says Barbaros Oktay, Head of Bus at MAN Truck & Bus.
Focus on environmental and climate protection
Together with partners and customers, MAN wants to drive forward sustainable mobility in order to take environmental and climate protection into account. “It is a real concern for us to act responsibly and make a positive contribution to society,” says Oktay. Therefore, the company aims to become greenhouse gas neutral in terms of its balance sheet by 2050 at the latest. In order to achieve its ambitious climate targets, MAN Truck & Bus is focusing primarily on the electrification of the products it sells, which are responsible for around 97% of the company’s CO2 emissions – and with success: eBus orders more than tripled in 2022 compared to 2021. Overall, the share of eBuses sold was around twelve percent of the city buses sold by MAN in Europe. In concrete terms, this means that MAN already delivered every eighth city bus in Europe as a battery-powered variant last year. In terms of electromobility, the bus business is thus also seen as a forerunner for the heavy-duty eTrucks, whose production start in Munich is planned for 2024.
The high-voltage batteries for the electric buses and trucks will be mass-produced in Nuremberg from the beginning of 2025. MAN is investing around 100 million euros in this over the next five years. The goal is to expand production capacities to over 100,000 batteries per year. In addition, the charging infrastructure is to be expanded as part of the TRATON Group’s Milence joint venture with other industry partners: It is planned to set up at least 1,700 high-performance charging points at or near motorways as well as logistics hubs across Europe in the next few years.
MAN Lion’s City E convinces operators and experts alike
“Our main focus is definitely on advancing electromobility, and to achieve this we are working on a wide variety of levers: whether it’s employee training, all-round advice for private customers and transport operators, investments in battery production or the constant further development of our MAN Lion’s City E,” says Barbaros Oktay and adds: “From the very beginning it was clear to us that we would develop our eBus in close cooperation with our customers, but also constantly optimise it. Our goal was and is to offer the best electric city bus on the market. The fact that our efforts have been rewarded by the market and many experts is a great success. Just last year, for example, our Lion’s City E was crowned ‘Bus of the Year 2023’ by the international ‘Bus & Coach of the Year’ jury.”