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MAN Truck & Bus and Austrian consortium, the Council for Sustainable Logistics (CNL), have reached an agreement on the joint development and trial of electric trucks.
According to MAN, nine fully electrically driven MAN distribution trucks will be being tested in everyday operations by a range of Austrian food stores and logistics companies by the end of 2017. The vehicles will be developed at the MAN plant in Steyr and produced at the facility's Truck Modification Centre.
“Electromobility is the future of goods transport in towns and cities,” said Joachim Drees, Chairman of the Executive Boards of MAN Truck & Bus and MAN SE.
“The advantages of this type of drive are obvious: electrically powered trucks supply supermarkets or drinks retailers without emissions and almost without noise. Thanks to our development partnership with CNL we can now gather valuable practical experience that will help us become a leading manufacturer of e-trucks.
"The results will also be of great value for future development projects within the Volkswagen Truck & Bus Group. In return we will benefit from the competence of the Group in electrics, for example in battery technology."
The results of the trials will reportedly be incorporated in subsequent development aimed at series production. A first small run is scheduled to be produced at Steyr at the end of 2018, and in early 2021, MAN will start series production of electrically powered trucks for urban distribution.
Truck manufacturer, Scania, has already confirmed that plans to trial its eletric trucks on roads in 2018 in Sweden and Germany is well under way.
In Australia, the electric vehicle (EV) debate was reignited this week after BMW Australia CEO, Marc Werner, slammed the Turnbull government for its lack of support for electric vehicle ownership, calling out the lack of financial and infrastructure incentives for ownership and for failing to provide a framework for EV consumption.