By the end of 2025, Wiener Linien will convert nine of its 127 routes to operation with the battery-electric bus Mercedes eCitaro. In fact, the operator has just announced an order for 60 eCitaro buses. The vehicles will be delivered from next year until 2025. In summer 2022 Austrian government announced an investment of 122 million euros to support the procurement of 289 electric buses.

The approximately twelve-meter long solo vehicles feature latest generation of lithium-ion batteries (NMC 3) with battery capacity of 392 kWh. Pantographs also enable rapid charging at up to 300 kW and in this way increase the range and operating times. A few days ago the Danish bus company Vikingbus has ordered 31 Mercedes eCitaro buses.

New e-competence centre for Wiener Linien

Extensive tests were conducted before the order was placed. For example, as early as June 2021, passengers were able to use the all-electric Mercedes-Benz eCitaro G articulated bus free of charge for two weeks during practice runs on three routes. 

Changing to environmentally friendly propulsion technologies also requires the development of infrastructure adapted to technical and operational requirements. The Wiener Linien will build a new e-competence center in its former bus parking lot at Siebenhirten in the south of the Austrian capital by the end of 2023. This shall accommodate around 50 e-buses. The buses will be charged, maintained and repaired there. For example, a photovoltaic system on the roof will supply electricity and the waste heat from the chargers will be used to heat the workshop building.

Mercedes eCitaro for Wiener Linien

The bus workshop in Vienna’s Spetterbrücke will also be equipped with charging infrastructure, and three rapid charging stations will be constructed along the routes. Existing substations for the streetcar and subway networks shall also be used to supply the charging stations with energy. Wiener Linien obtains 100 percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources.

Daimler Truck highlights that “Wiener Linien recently completed the renewal of the bus fleet comprising around 400 vehicles at the end of 2019. As a result, Wiener Linien was able to reduce the energy consumption of its bus fleet by a good third between 2014 and 2020, even though the range of service was expanded by six percent during this time. The backbone of the fleet is formed by the low-emission Mercedes-Benz Citaro and the large-capacity CapaCity bus derived from it in accordance with the Euro VI emission standard. Among them was the 50,000th Citaro bus built as an anniversary bus. Now comes the next step: from 2023, all-electric buses will be seen increasingly on the road in Vienna, and numerous complete routes will gradually be converted to electric city buses”.

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