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Investment in electric trucks

Traton invests 1.6 billion euros in research and development

25. März 2021, 13:57 Uhr   |  Irina Hübner

Traton invests 1.6 billion euros in research and development
© Traton

The Traton Group is investing significantly more in electromobility by 2025 than previously planned.

The Traton Group is preparing for the shift to electric drives: A total of 1.6 billion euros will flow into R&D for electromobility by 2025, the commercial vehicle manufacturer has now decided. Previously, 1 billion euros had been earmarked for the period up to 2025.

At the same time, Traton is scaling back investments in conventional powertrains, to less than one-fifth of product development in 2025, doubling the share of product development for electric mobility in that period. »Traton is clearly committed to electric trucks. The changeover will not happen overnight. But step by step. Sustainably and in line with the necessary network expansion. Because it won't work without charging infrastructure,« said Matthias Gründler, CEO of Traton.

The individual brands of the Traton Group have already set specific targets for the years 2025 and 2030: In 2025, e-drive vehicles are to account for around 10 % of Scania's sales in Europe. By the same date, half of MAN's new buses are to have an alternative drive. In 2030, every second vehicle sold by Scania is to have an e-drive. At MAN, at least 60 % of delivery trucks and 40 % of long-distance trucks will then be emission-free.

In terms of alternative drive systems, Traton is currently focusing on battery-electric vehicles, but does not rule out hydrogen technology for niches. In truck transport, especially on long-distance routes, pure e-trucks will in the vast majority of cases be the cheaper and more environmentally friendly solution compared to hydrogen trucks, according to Traton. »This is because the hydrogen truck has a serious disadvantage compared to the exclusively battery-electric e-truck: only a quarter of the output energy flows into the drive at the end, three quarters is lost from the energy source to the road - with the e-truck, the ratio is reversed,« says Gründler.

The often expressed opinion that hydrogen trucks are something for the long haul, and e-trucks only for the short haul, is not true for the Traton CEO. Rather, the decisive factor for the economic viability of an e-truck and the amortization of its batteries is regular, intensive use. This is particularly the case in long-distance heavy-duty traffic.

However, hydrogen trucks are also likely to establish themselves on the market in the next ten years. For example, in long-distance buses, which cannot yet be sufficiently charged during short breaks. In regions with particularly inexpensive »green« hydrogen, for example near North Sea wind farms or import ports, hydrogen trucks could also play a role.

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