The MAN plan for a post-diesel world.

Rod McKenzie

Rod McKenzie | 12th November 2021 10:21 AM

As COP26 ends we are clearer about the deadline the industry faces in 2040 but very unclear about the pathway to that date. Put simply: what replaces diesel?

Of course, some questions are easier than others when it comes to light trucks and urban operations. But for the biggest lorries with the longest hauls, questions remain: hydrogen, electric, LNG or something else?

Commercial vehicle manufacturer MAN thinks it has the answer, and like Scania they are going electric.

They have done a feasibility study based on German conditions and conclude battery electric is the way forward, urging the authorities to give the building of charging infrastructure top priority.

Andreas Tostmann, CEO of MAN Truck & Bus, is pleased with the results of ‘Delivery traffic with battery trucks: Feasibility 2021’, but also makes demands on politicians: “The development of charging infrastructure must now have top priority and be supported by the state. Legislators should also decide on preferential access for zero-emission trucks in cities in the medium term. In addition, a charging core network with charging capacities of 700 to 1,000 kW must be established along the motorways in Europe by 2025.“

We’re still agnostic on which of these alternatives for powering heavy lorries is right – gas or electric (or something else). It’s likely a mix of them will work as one answer won’t suit everyone. For example, the idea supported by Scania for overhead charging wires on key motorways won’t work for many small operators whose operations are away from motorway operations.  Cost will be a factor too.

The debate is on: we’ll have to see what the manufacturers offer and what governments will do in terms of charging infrastructure and the many other complexities involved in the switch away from fossil fuel.

See what some of our members and others are doing to drive greener business on our roads.