Mercedes has updated the NMC batteries on the eCitaro. As previously planned within the Mannheim-made electric bus roadmap, now the Mercedes eCitaro is available with an even more powerful generation of lithium-ion batteries (still from the German supplier Akasol). The other option available on the eCitaro, when it comes to batteries, it’s solid-state technology from Blue Solutions (although the first units have been recalled for checks).
The first eCitaro G articulated buses have now been delivered to Hanover’s transport operator, ÜSTRA. They are part of a large-scale order and also an important element of an ambitious plan to electrify bus transport in Lower Saxony’s capital.
Up to 48 e-buses ordered by ÜSTRA
The two new eCitaro G buses for ÜSTRA feature second-generation lithium-ion batteries. Their capacity is about a third higher than that of previous batteries so that the range between recharging stops is increased considerably, Daimler points out. The articulated buses for Hanover are equipped with ten battery packs which provide them with a remarkable total capacity of 330 kWh. In addition, current collectors – for which the technical term is pantograph – are installed on the roof for intermediate charging at the final bus stop on routes.
The new vehicles are part of an order from ÜSTRA for up to 48 city buses. The order comprises 30 eCitaro solo buses and 18 eCitaro G articulated buses. The first eCitaro buses have been in operation since September of last year in Hanover. As part of their campaign to switch over to electric buses, ÜSTRA intends to drive electrically with 48 electric buses on all inner-city routes within Hanover’s low-emission zone by 2023. The switch-over could save 3800 tonnes of CO2 every year.
At the same time as the buses go into operation, the final bus stops on the inner-city bus routes will all be equipped with the necessary charging infrastructure and both bus depots will be converted to accommodate the charging and maintenance processes for the electric buses – also by 2023.
Focus on the Mercedes-Benz eCitaro G for ÜSTRA in Hanover
Four double-width doors ensure rapid passenger flow at the bus stops. All of the doors have light strips with green or red LEDs to highlight the floor edges at the entrances. Passengers with restricted mobility board the bus at door two using an electrically operated cassette ramp.
In the interior the passenger compartment is functional but friendly. The floor sports a warm look. The seat cushions and backrests are upholstered. The passenger compartment is fully air-conditioned and pre-conditioning at the company depot or at the final bus stops saves energy and in turn ensures that the maximum range is achieved.
In the area around door two there is a special-use space for wheelchairs and prams. At the rear of the bus, there is also a second special-use space for prams opposite door three. All these areas are fitted with comfortable upholstered pads to lean on in the standing section or folding seats. Two TFT double monitors, one in the front and one in the rear, provide passengers with information about the bus’s progression along the route or entertain them with passenger TV. 13 double USB ports supply passengers’ personal mobile devices with electricity and a WiFi router connects them with the Internet.
eCitaro for Hanover: the driver’s place
The driver cockpit is also comfortably equipped. The separate air-conditioning system as well as the heated and climatised seat with electrically adjustable lumbar support deserve a particular mention. The inside rearview mirror and the roller sunblind are also electrically adjustable. Daimler highlights that the EDF Eco Driver Feedback technology contributes to an economic driving style with the goal of achieving maximum energy efficiency. The driver’s cab door has a partition across the complete width of the door while video cameras monitor the door areas and the passenger compartment. These features all add up to a greater feeling of safety.
New generation batteries on the eCitaro
“Our new, state-of-the-art articulated buses are making an important contribution to climate protection and the transition of transportation away from combustion engines,” says Denise Hain, ÜSTRA’s head of operations and personnel, “They are an important element of climate-friendly mobility in Hanover. They are locally emission-free, quiet and very well equipped.”
Mirko Sgodda, Head of Sales, Marketing and Customer Services at Daimler Buses: “We are delighted that ÜSTRA chose the Mercedes-Benz eCitaro G with the new generation of batteries. Our high-tech city bus is safer, more environmentally-friendly and more comfortable. It constitutes a significant milestone on the way to improving city life.”