Daimler Buses has introduced its all-electric Mercedes-Benz eCitaro city bus, along with the accompanying eco-system for the introduction of all-electric city buses. In addition, the company announced that it will showcase its technologies for electrification of the public transport network at the upcoming 2018 IAA Commercial Vehicles Expo from 24-27 September. Daimler will also premiere new assistance systems, Active Brake Assist 4, and a minibus based on the new Sprinter at the show.
Daimler said first customers have already ordered the eCitaro, with the vehicles being delivered this year. The company is said to be investing about € 200 mn in electric, connected and automated driving up to 2020. The Mercedes-Benz eCitaro features design elements from of the revolutionary Future Bus concept vehicle, giving it a distinct design. Overall, the eCitaro sports a solid appearance with clearly drawn contours, with optical tricks providing it with the right proportions and making it seem light.
The first Mercedes-Benz eCitaro will be delivered at the end of the year and will go into practical operations into customer-oriented driving test. The Rhein-Neckar-Verkehr GmbH, operator of the local public transport system in the Rhine-Neckar metropolitan region, signed a corresponding declaration of intent with the Daimler subsidiary EvoBus GmbH in this regard. Series production of the Mercedes-Benz Citaro with all-electric drive will then begin at the end of the year at the Mannheim bus plant. The transport operators in Hamburg and Berlin have already ordered a total of 35 eCitaro buses, the company said.
Daimler Buses’ investment in electric, connected and automated driving up to 2020 will support the group’s CASE (Connected; Autonomous; Shared & Services; Electric) strategy. A significant proportion is going toward building up competencies, and into development and production of electric buses, the company observed.
The platform of the new Mercedes‑Benz eCitaro is the Citaro. Power for the electric bus will be supplied by lithium-ion batteries with a total capacity of up to about 243 kWh, which are modular in design. The batteries are divided between as many as ten modules, each supplying around 25 kWh. In addition to two battery modules on the vehicle roof, the standard equipment includes four battery modules in the rear of the bus. With a minimum of six and up to a maximum of ten possible battery modules, transport operators can adapt their usage and charging strategy very precisely to individual needs, Daimler Buses explained.
The eCitaro will have a payload of over 6 T, or around 88 passengers – in line with what is needed in practice even during rush hour. The bus’ charging technology can also be customised to customer requirements, with the initial being plug-in charging. The eCitaro with a full complement of batteries should be able to achieve an operating range of about 150 km in the summer. Subsequently, the range of the eCitaro will be increased yet again by a range extender in the form of a fuel cell that generates electricity. It will be designed to allow the eCitaro to fulfil nearly 100 % of all requirements on city buses.
Martin Daum, Member - Board of Management, Daimler AG responsible for Daimler Trucks and Buses, said with the world premiere of the eCitaro, the company is shaping the future of the public transport network. That is why Daimler Buses is consistently working on the electrification of its vehicles, and has been doing so for many years now, he added.
The new Mercedes-Benz eCitaro is the kick-off for an innovation initiative to electrify the public transport network, noted Till Oberwörder, Head, Daimler Buses, and Chairman - Board of Management, EvoBus GmbH. He said that in doing so, the company is offering customers more than just a battery concept, rather a complete eMobility system.