Armored money transporters are interesting vehicles. They need to be super secure. They need to carry a lot of weight. And they need to look cool in a James Bond film.
An innovative bank in Poland used a BMW i3 electric vehicle for this purpose for a bit, but the heavy weight of the money and rather short range of the i3 back then made it very difficult to make this work. However, electric vehicle ranges have been getting better and better, and now we have a more mainstream effort.
This past week, major truck and van company MAN announced that its MAN eTGE electric van would be used as the “world’s first electrically powered and armoured money transporter.” Prosegur received this secure van in early August. The “money transporter” was converted to an adequately armored vehicle by STOOF. Many Prosegur vehicles travel relatively short distances every day (60–70 km/37–44 miles), but they carry so much weight that they have to be designed intelligently to avoid weight-related issues.
“The body manufacturer was faced with the challenge of using extremely lightweight materials that have the same resistance class. The electric van can seat a maximum of three people. Including the armouring, its unladen weight is around 3,150 kg.”
The MAN eTGE should have a range of 115–130 km (71–81 miles). One vehicle is being tested right now around Potsdam, Germany, but if it performs well, I imagine we could see an order for many more relatively soon. Prosegur has nearly 900 vehicles on the roads.
A top impetus for the shift was simply to take more environmental responsibility and cut emissions.
“Given the fact that our Group safely transports the equivalent of 550 billion euros every year using all modes of transportation, it is of vital importance that we embrace our role as a driver of innovation at all times and also bear responsibility for doing business in a sustainable manner,” says Jochen Werne, Chief Development Officer at Prosegur Deutschland.
The MAN eTGE is no caveman vehicle either. It is equipped with useful 2020 tech. “The MAN eTGE has a parking assistance system with side protection, a rear-view camera, a speed control system, a periphery monitoring system with a city emergency braking function, Emergency Brake Assist (EBA) and LED headlights.”
Will we see many more MAN eTGE electric vans hitting the roads in the next 5 years? Or is this another case of a flashy press release and a small pilot project that won’t go far?