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Mercedes-Benz eCitaro electric buses are designed for cities of the future

A Mercedes-Benz eCitaro

Mercedes-Benz’s eCitaro will be delivered at the end of the year

Daimler is working on an electric version of its Citaro bus, the upcoming Mercedes-Benz eCitaro.

It emits zero local emissions and runs almost silently. It combines the thousand fold proven platform of Mercedes-Benz’ best-selling city bus with new technological solutions and an independent design.

The all-electric Mercedes‑Benz eCitaro utilises an innovative thermal management system with exceptional energy efficiency and reliability of range. Its performance enables the eCitaro to cover a large part of the requirements of the transport operators right from the start.

Lithium-ion batteries with a total capacity of up to about 243 kWh provide the power for the eCitaro. They are modular in design: the batteries are divided between as many as 10 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.

Depending upon customer requirements, another two or four battery modules are mounted on the roof of the eCitaro. 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.

With the maximum complement of 10 battery modules, the eCitaro in standard specification weighs around 13.44 tonnes. In conjunction with a gross vehicle weight rating of 19.5 tonnes, this corresponds to a payload of more than six tonnes or around 88 passengers – in line with what is needed in practice even during rush hour.

The eCitaro’s charging technology also allows it to adjust to the individual wishes and requirements of the transport operators. For the start of series production, plug-in charging is intended. To this end, the city bus has a connection for a Combo 2 plug. If opportunity charging is required to extend the range, there will also be an option to charge the eCitaro via a pantograph in future.

However, the battery capacity alone provides little indication of the actual performance capability and, above all, the range of an all-electric city bus – the true measure is that of energy consumption.

In the case of a city bus, this is impacted significantly by climatic conditions and consequently by the need to cool and, above all, to heat the interior.

The engineers have therefore put a considerable amount of thought into the issue of thermal management. It is one of the outstanding features of the eCitaro and has been honed and refined in every detail: compared with the current Citaro with combustion engine, the energy requirement for heating, ventilation and climate control has fallen by about 40%.

This exceptional energy efficiency provides the basis for the eCitaro’s practical operating range – even under unfavourable conditions.

The first Mercedes-Benz eCitaro will be delivered at the end of the year and will go into practical operations in the context of a so-called customer-oriented driving test.

Rhein-Neckar-Verkehr, operator of the local public transport system in the Rhine-Neckar metropolitan region, signed a corresponding declaration of intent with the Daimler subsidiary EvoBus.

Series production of the Mercedes-Benz Citaro with an 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 electric Citaro forms part of Daimler Buses’ integrated eMobility system. The focus is on the eConsulting expert advice service even before any purchase is made.

Experts at EvoBus analyse every route the customer operates and a simulation programme then calculates the energy requirements for the future electric buses in the system.

This consultation results in precise recommendations and calculations on energy consumption, the infrastructure required and the recommended connection power for the depots’ power supply as well as recommendations for charging management.

A special eMobility service from the Omniplus service brand will be available in future for service, maintenance and repair.

In order to shape the future of mobility, Daimler Buses is investing around 200 million euros in the implementation of the CASE strategy, and that is just up until 2020.

CASE at Daimler stands for the future topics of connectivity (Connected), autonomous driving (Autonomous), flexible use (Shared & Services) and electric powertrains (Electric). A significant proportion is going toward building up competencies, and into development and production of electric buses.

Series production of the Mercedes-Benz eCitaro will take place in the Mannheim production plant. The development team based in Neu-Ulm will also be increasingly dedicating themselves to semi-automated and automated driving in future.

Source: Daimler

About Natasha Dhanvijay

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