Stiegl’s coachman Herbert Schröder and the two stallions Lenz and Lord run daily deliveries to the historic district of Salzburg.
Stiegl’s coachman Herbert Schröder and the two stallions Lenz and Lord run daily deliveries to the historic district of Salzburg.

The Stiegl brewery has been brewing beer in Salzburg since 1492. Today, their beer bears the “Slow Brewing” seal of quality for fulfilling one of the best international quality standards. Despite looking back on 525 years of successful history, the private brewery is not taking that as a reason to rest on their laurels. This shows in the countless sustainability projects the company is involved in, which belong to the company philosophy like hops and malt to the Stiegl beer.

All areas of the company employ a holistic approach: just a few examples are utilization of an increased amount of raw materials from certified organic farming; cultivation of ancient grain varieties on the Stiegl estate Wildshut to maintain biological diversity and for brewing exclusive beers; and the manufacture of the Stiegl reusable beer crates made of 60% recycled plastic. All processes are constantly monitored in regard to their impact on the CO2 footprint of the brewery. With 232 grammes of CO2 per liter of beer,* it is one of the lowest in the sector.

Zero emissions the alternative way

As a member of the Austrian council for sustainable logistics (CNL), it was an easy decision for Stiegl to participate in the pioneering MAN eTruck field test. After all, cutting down on emissions is a particular focal point in the distribution sector. Apart from a fleet which has been consistently updated according to the Euro 6 standard, Stiegl has been relying on the currently one and only “zero emissions version” for deliveries close to the brewery for hundreds of years: two teams of horses.

One of them has been under the reins of coachman Herbert Schröder for almost 30 years. He and his carriage are a unique duo, and when the hooves of the black-dotted Tiger Noriker clatter along the historic cobbled streets, they attract surprised glances, not only from tourists. Recently, however, Herbert and the stallions Lenz and Lord have had to compete with a new rival when it comes to attention and zero emissions.

Dominik Lackner drives and tests the MAN eTruck for the Stiegl brewery.
Dominik Lackner drives and tests the MAN eTruck for the Stiegl brewery.

First brewery with an eTruck in their fleet

Stiegl driver Dominik Lackner’s MAN TGM 26.360 E is attracting at least as much attention. “The decals, which were designed by our Stiegl apprentices, are a real eye-catcher, and so is the green number plate”, says Dominik. A power cable with a plug, shaped like Austria’s borders, winds its way along the driver’s and co-driver's side of the beverage truck. “Country by the current (Land am Strome)...,” a line from Austria’s national anthem, is written alongside it. Very apt, since the MAN eTGM is the first fully electric heavy-duty truck used by a brewery. “Since I started driving this vehicle, I have had people approaching me every day and asking me about it,” Dominik tells us. That makes the 28-year-old professional truck driver not only a test driver for the eTruck field test but also an ambassador for eMobility in the commercial vehicle sector.

Completely electrified by the MAN eTGM

“I have always been a great fan of trucks. The MAN TGMs in our fleet were always my favorite, I like the taut chassis. Ideal for deliveries, almost no rocking movement. That means it’s the identical version but with “noise,” according to Dominik’s description. “But what can I say, I just don’t like it any more. Now I have the eTruck and wouldn't swap it  for any other!” That he had a different opinion at the beginning is something that Dominik is more than willing to admit. He says that he was skeptical when he first climbed into his future vehicle for a special MAN eTruck driver's training at the MAN plant in Steyr a few months ago. “It really packs a mighty punch. This truck takes off like a rocket. I would have never imagined that it works so well but I quickly found out otherwise!”

Now the test driver is eager to find out how the eTruck will perform in the cold season. “The 12 lithium-iron battery packs are automatically cooled or heated during the charging process, meaning they always have the optimum temperature. That means you basically always enter a 'warm' vehicle. I can’t see there being any problems.”

The eTruck recharges overnight at a 44kW charging station installed close to the drinks warehouse of the brewery.

The eTruck field test at Stiegl perfectly merges tradition and modernity.
The eTruck field test at Stiegl perfectly merges tradition and modernity.

eTruck impresses in everyday application.

Dominik's tours cover a route from the warehouse of the brewery into the city and an area of about 50 kilometers around Salzburg. Each tour takes him approximately eight hours and he uses the electric lifting platform around 30 times a day.

“Managing deliveries to major customers is no problem at all. I have never reached the limit of the battery. Hmm ... I wonder if I’m not working hard enough?!” he jokes.

In the historical area of Salzburg, Dominik’s quiet path sometimes also crosses that of Herbert, Lenz and Lord. The eTruck is not meant to replace the carriages but to create a perfect synergy with them. A modern tradition – Stiegl at its best.

 

*As per current Stiegl sustainability report 2018 (numbers from the end of 2017)