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MAN Truck & Bus is presenting a further development of the Metropolis concept at the IAA 2016. This time, it’s an electrically-powered semitrailer tractor for applications in night-shift deliveries to city centre locations such as those normally utilised today by food supermarkets. Technically, it is based on a MAN TGS 4x2 GLS-TS semitrailer tractor with an 18 t permissible total weight.

The concept vehicle, which is optimised for operation with a City semitrailer with steerable single axle, fulfils the main demands being placed on future delivery vehicles for city centre applications, namely that they must have a high load volume and a low unladen weight, be emission-free (in terms of CO2, NOx and noise) when on the move and at the same time have good manoeuvrability.

Driving this pioneering MAN City Truck concept vehicle is a 250 kW electric motor which delivers its 2700 Nm of torque to the rear axle via a propshaft. Auxiliary units, such as the power steering, air compressor and the air-conditioning system, are electrically operated and controlled via the energy management system as required to ensure energy savings. The braking energy recovery system converts the kinetic energy of the vehicle into electrical energy during acceleration phases, and utilises the energy for recharging the battery. A colour display in the cockpit informs the driver about the current energy parameters, such as battery charge level, energy recovery and charging mode. This therefore ensures that the vehicle is particularly energy efficient when in motion.

The energy for the truck is provided by three 35.3 kWh high-performance lithium-ion batteries which are arranged under the driver’s cab above the front axle, where most standard vehicles have the diesel engine. The weight of the batteries is therefore over the front axle which enables the full load capacity of the rear axle to be used for the payload. The additional weight of the electric drive components is compensated for by dispensing with the conventional diesel engine, with the result that the vehicle has the same payload as a similar, conventional semitrailer tractor from the TGS model range.

Depending on use, the battery capacity of the new concept vehicle permits a daily range of between 50 and 150 kilometres. The system is also designed to be suitable for the so-called "opportunity charging" i.e. intermediate charging during vehicle operation. This rapid charging method during intermediate stops, e.g. when the driver takes a break, or while loading and unloading the vehicle, provides greater flexibility for operational and route planning. The concept vehicle also has the technical infrastructure for the installation of up to four additional batteries (each with a capacity of 35.3 kWh) on the side of the frame and/or a range extender or fuel cell, likewise mounted on the side of the frame. This degree of flexibility increases the vehicle’s range, satisfying customer requirements.

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