Last week’s Next Mobility Exhibition in Milan showcased an array of cutting-edge vehicles from leading manufacturers. Highlights included Otokar exhibiting the intercity e-bus e-Territo and the updated version of e-Kent C, Altas’ Novus City V7, a collaboration with Zhongtong, BYD’s 12-meter B12 model with innovative ‘blade’ batteries (for the first time in Italy) and Solaris’ 12-meter Urbino electric with improved layout.

But another main news at the show was the first public appearance of Iveco Bus Crossway Mild Hybrid Normal Floor.

Altas

D’Auria Group (that markets Altas range in Italy) displayed in Milan the Tourline, a touring coach built in four hands with the Lithuanians of Altas Auto, on a Mercedes Sprinter chassis. But the big news of the house is the Novus City V7, an all-electric 7.5-metre manufactured together with the Chinese Zhongtong.

Ayats

Spanish bodybuilder Ayats joined NME with its dealer Officine Di Maio: on show was the Horizon, powered by Mercedes, in the double version with two axles (11.60 metres) and three (13.35 metres).

BYD

BYD (87 units registered in Italy in 2023) has brought to Milan the brand new 12-meter model B12 featuring the so-called ‘blade’ batteries positioned inside the chassis, and the e-bus model on a Nelec body – also in the standard 12-metre size -. made in Spain by its Iberian partner Castrosua. Both will be available on the Italian market.

nme next mobility exhibition 2024

The Blade Battery Chassis technology also utilises a new 6-in-1 controller with Silicon Carbide technology, together with two wheel hub hairpin motors. Combined, “these bring a multitude of benefits to BYD’s 12-metre eBus including enhanced energy efficiency, performance and durability”, BYD says.

Indcar

Indcar brought in Milan a methane-powered Mobi and a 6-meter e-bus by Bluebus that was awarded a tender in Turin. Indeed GTT and Indcar officially signed during the expo the contract for the purchase of 22 electric minibuses (Indcar acts as Bluebus dealer for Italy and Spain since mid-2023).

nme next mobility exhibition 2024

Industria Italiana Autobus

Only one vehicle for Industria Italiana Autobus, whose corporate future still remains uncertain: at the Next Mobility Exhibition, IIA showed again the Menarini Citymood 12e, also available in a 10-metre version.

Iveco Bus

We can’t but beginning with Iveco Bus, market leader in Italy again in 2023. Iveco Bus displayed the 12-meter battery-powered E-Way, the e-Daily (in electric version) and, above all, the big surprise, truly new product at the fair, the Crossway Mild Hybrid Normal Floor.

nme next mobility exhibition 2024

Iveco Bus is now updating the range with the mild hybrid version of the Crossway normal floor intercity bus. It’s available in 3 lengths: 10.7, 12, 13 meters, POP and LINE versions. It will be at the beginning available in 12 and 13 meters powered by natural gas, biomethane-compatible. The new model is already available for orders, with the first units to be delivered in Spain next July, Iveco Group says.

Karsan

Karsan is also part of the large Turkish line-up: KMobility, the new Bursa-based company’s sole dealer in Italy, was announced recently. At NME, the company focused on the 8-metre, self-driving e-Atak (which is currently clocking up kilometres in Norway and Finland), but the 12-metre e-Ata Hydrogen and the six-metre, all-electric e-Jest were also present.

King Long

King Long is active in Italy through the dealer Dierre Dimensione Ricambi. Only e-buses at the stand: with Pev, Pev9 and Pev12 available for attendees (length 6, 9 and 12 meter respectively). And a 8-meter model is awaited.

MAN

MAN has two arrows in its bow at the Milan exhibition: the Lion roars with the 10.5-metre ‘short’ version of the Lion’s City E, the shorter version of the 12-metre battery-powered vehicle that has been leading European BEV bus market in 2023, and with a coach from the Neoplan brand, a 12-metre Tourliner equipped with the new GSR 2-compliant active safety suite.

Otokar

Strengthened by the acquisition of Mauri Bus System to better operate (with a direct subsidiary) in Italy, Otokar had a strong presence at NME, with four vehicles: in addition to the Kent diesel outside, the Turkish company’s stand features three electric models: in Class I, the 12-metre e-Kent – in the revamped version, i.e. without an engine tower and with a larger battery pack, up to 450 kWh – and the short e-Centro C, while in Class II there is the e-Territo, for the first time in Italy after its launch at Busworld.

nme next mobility exhibition 2024

Solaris

Recently showcased in Berlin at Mobility Move 2024 with the new generation of the Urbino 12 electric with modular transmission and new batteries up to 600 kWh, Solaris brought to Milan – where it dominate ATM’s Milan fleet – the 12-metre Urbino powered by hydrogen.

By the way, on the Urbino 12 electric we wrote an extensive technical report on latest Sustainable Bus magazine out in May 2024.

Sustainable Bus May 2024, pag 28-31

Isuzu

Then there was Anadolu Isuzu (with Italian dealer Officine Mirandola): the Turkish manufacturer displayed the following quartet: the eight-metre electric NovoCiti Volt, the 12-metre battery-powered CitiVolt, the diesel-powered NovoCiti Life in Class II and, for the first time in Italy, the 7.3-metre short touristic electric bus Novo Volt, also unveiled at Busworld in Brussels as the latest addition to the company.

Tecnobus

Tecnobus is working to re-launch with renewed vigour its jewel: the short Gulliver, a ‘historic’ e-minibus just 5.320 millimetres long. In 2023, the Frosinone-based company registered only four units, but industrial plans have raised the bar of targets at home and abroad for 2024 and beyond. Noteworthy is the announcement of the industrial partnership with Italian startup Next Modular Vehicles.

The company was ‘restarted’ in 2022 thanks to a 40 million euro investment, half of which should be financed by a development contract. ICAB group is since a few years the only shareholder. It’s a company from the industrial automation sector, and its sole director is Paolo Marini, that is now CEO of Tecnobus

Yutong

Yutong, on the other hand, attracted the attention of those present with four buses, all electric: the E7, U12 and U18 (the latest in operation around Malpensa airport), and the intercity Ice12.

The Yutong U12 was launched at Busworld 2019. Yutong CEO Europe told Sustainable Bus in late 2023 that “the U series adopt more intelligent functions as long as a lightweight construction that reduces weight significantly, benefitting energy consumption. The U series is already on the market and allows us to provide a wider offer to our customers. Yutong E12 and U12 will be offered in parallel for some time. They are both in series production as of now”.

ZF

At Next Mobility Exhibition ZF showed again the recently unveiled AxTrax 2 LF electric axle, on display for the first time in Italy.

ZF’s new AxTrax 2 LF low-floor electric axle comes with two stand-alone silicon carbide (SiC) inverters and a high-performance electric control unit, offering an all-inclusive e-drive system for city buses.

Highly efficient and powerful, AxTrax 2 LF is available in two variants. These offer continuous power outputs of 260 kW and 360 kW and peak torques of 22,700 Nm and 37,300 Nm. With the more powerful variant, it is possible to achieve a climbing ability of 20% even for articulated buses of up to 29 tons with one driven axle, the group states.

Zonson

Let’s finish the overview with the Chinese Zonson (Bazn Auto – belonging to giant IT group ZTE) in Milan with dealer Pagliani Service, winner of a tender for Anm Napoli: on show in Milan is the all-electric trident made up of the 6-metre Pure Electric City Bus, the 8.5-metre Euro Lights’ and the 12-metre City Joy; for the short bus this is a real first.

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