Mercedes-Benz has received an order for 54 fully electric Mercedes eCitaro buses in Switzerland, from Basler Verkehrs-Betriebe (BVB). The decision was made following a tender and intensive testing of several vehicles. The Swiss transport company wants to fully electrify its bus routes in just two steps by 2027.

The eCitaro forms the basis of the first order. In all, it comprises 38 eCitaro rigid buses as well as 16 articulated eCitaro G buses. The vehicles will be delivered in the coming year, Daimler points out.

Further 64 e-buses to be purchased in 2027

Last year, Basler Verkehrs-Betriebe celebrated 125 years of existence. It intends to complete the changeover of its entire bus fleet to electric vehicles in just two steps. In doing so, it will be fulfilling the specifications of Basel’s public transport legislation which requires fleets to be powered by 100 % renewable energy by the year 2027.

Over the course of the coming year, the first 62 electric buses will be brought into operation, and of those, 54 will be eCitaro models. In 2027, an optional order of a further 64 buses will follow. As part of the changeover, the depot, garages and their infrastructure will be completely redeveloped. To recharge the vehicles, only electricity from renewable sources will be used. What’s more, at the terminal bus stops of five longer routes, stations for intermediary charging will be built.

Basel to electrify the fleet by 2027

Daimler points out that both the rigid and the articulated buses are equipped with ten battery groups each. They can be charged either via a charging connector or rapidly by means of a pantograph with a charging output of up to 450 kW. To ensure the greatest possible traction, the articulated buses feature a driven central axle in addition to the driven rear axle.

With the turning assistant Sideguard Assist, the active braking assistant Preventive Brake Assist and the TPM tyre pressure monitor, BVB is also making a conscious decision for the highest level of safety. Equipped with either three (rigid buses) or four (articulated buses) swivelling-sliding doors, rapid boarding and alighting of passengers is guaranteed.

Pantograph charging for eCitaro in Basel

Grab handles and handrails in stainless steel and brushed stainless steel, sidewalls trimmed with needle felt and leather-upholstered seats make for a tasteful atmosphere. In addition to the regular special-use space opposite the second door for wheelchairs and pushchairs, the articulated buses feature another special-use space in the rear vehicle section. These areas are equipped with comfortably upholstered areas to lean on in the standing area. With a number of TFT monitors, passengers remain both informed and entertained. To enable passengers to use their own devices, Wi-Fi and numerous USB connections are available.

mercedes ecitaro basel

The driver’s cab is separated from the passenger area by means glazed partition with openings for speaking to passengers and handing out change. Cabs will also be equipped with a swivelling, heated and climatised seat with multiple adjustment options, including an electrically adjustable lumbar support. A CCTV system provides an overview of what’s going on inside the bus, while a reversing camera assists the driver during manoeuvring.

“We’re really pleased that from spring 2023 almost half of our fleet will be electrically powered. Our bus fleet will therefore become more environmentally friendly, quieter and more modern,” says BVB Director Bruno Stehrenberger.

Frank Scherhag, CEO of the Swiss EvoBus (Schweiz) AG company adds: “We’re equally very pleased about the BVB awarding us the contract. It serves to confirm the effectiveness of the eCitaro and our associated services. It makes us proud that we will be able to make a positive contribution towards making the city of Basel an even more liveable place.”


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