After a tour of the MAN engine plant, the EU was criticised on the second day of the ATZlive conference Heavy-Duty, On- and Off-Highway Engines 2023.
The European Union (EU) wants to become climate neutral. The target date is 2050. However, the legislation that is supposed to make this possible is being criticised. Dr. Markus Münz, Deputy Managing Director Engines and Systems at the VDMA, sees a "legislative tsunami from Brussels". The EU wants to be the first mover in the global trend towards green transformation, which should result in advantages for companies in the EU. This is how Münz describes Brussels' calculations. He, on the other hand, sees the EU as an industrial location "massively jeopardised" – and cites three reasons. Firstly, the compliance costs for companies will increase significantly. Secondly, the unclear legislation creates legal uncertainty. Thirdly, overly prescriptive regulations represent an obstacle to innovation.
Dr. Max Kofod, Fuels Scientist at Shell Global Solutions, outlined the economic challenges on the path to decarbonisation. LNG is no longer seen as a transition fuel, but as a fuel in transition. The reason: In the transport sector, complete electrification is unlikely due to numerous uncertainties, says Kofod. He sees a three-stage path for the decarbonisation of LNG: from fossil LNG to bio-LNG to synthetic LNG. However, bio-LNG is currently up to five times more expensive than fossil LNG, and synthetic LNG up to ten times more expensive, until it ends up as fuel in ships, for example. However, operators of LNG ships currently still have a long breathing space: According to Kofod, the EU regulations on the composition of LNG will not change until 2035.
100,000 Battery Packs per Year
Meanwhile, major changes are taking place at the MAN engine plant in Nuremberg, which will also be a battery plant in the future. From the beginning of 2025, MAN intends to mass-produce high-voltage battery packs for electrically powered trucks and buses there. In concrete terms, this means 100,000 battery packs per year for around 22,000 electrically powered commercial vehicles, in which up to six of the 600 kg battery packs will be installed per unit. MAN's e-trucks are expected to have a daily range of 600 to 800 kilometres.