Photo: Traton Group
Traton Group

Traton invests $1.8 billion in e-mobility

March 24, 2021
With its investment, the company also plans to scale back investments in conventional drives to make up less than one-fifth of its product development in 2025.

The Traton Group plans to invest $1.8 billion in research and development for e-mobility by 2025 as it scales back resources dedicated to conventional drives. As the OEM doubles its electric mobility development over the coming years, it anticipates conventional equipment to make up less than one-fifth of its product development by 2025.

“Traton is setting a clear focus on electric trucks. This transition will not happen overnight. It will be gradual, sustainable, and in line with the required network expansion. If there is no charging infrastructure, it will not work,” said Matthias Gründler, CEO of Traton SE.

On March 3, Navistar International’s shareholders approved the proposal from the Traton Group to acquire all of the outstanding common shares of Navistar at a price of $44.50 per share in cash, worth nearly $3.7 billion.

As part of Traton, Navistar will join the Scania, MAN, and Volkswagen Caminhões e Ônibus brands, creating one of the world's largest truck manufacturers. Navistar allows Traton to gain an instant presence in North America. By acquiring the Lisle, Ill.-based Navistar, the German-based Traton will also receive a brand new manufacturing facility for Classes 6-8 opening in San Antonio in 2022, a growing eMobility division.

The Traton Group brands have already set concrete targets for 2025 and 2030: Electric vehicles will make up around 10% of Scania’s European unit sales in 2025, with half of MAN’s new buses also equipped with an electric drive system by the same date. By 2030, every second vehicle sold by Scania will be powered electrically and at least 60% of MAN’s delivery trucks and 40% of its long-haul trucks will be zero emission.

When it comes to alternative drives, Traton’s main focus is on battery-electric vehicles. Nevertheless, hydrogen technology may well come into its own in niches. According to Gründler, pure electric trucks will outperform their hydrogen counterparts as the more cost-efficient and eco-friendly solution for trucks, especially long-haul trucks.

“This is because compared to electric trucks powered by batteries alone, hydrogen trucks have one major drawback: Just one-quarter of the energy output is ultimately used to power the vehicle, with the other three quarters lost along the way from the energy source to the road. This is the other way around for electric trucks,” explained Gründler.

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