There are transport companies which place their trust in the Mercedes-Benz Citaro because of its variable modular concept, others because of its contemporary look, and others besides because of its exemplary safety concept. But for SWEG Südwestdeutsche Verkehrs-Aktiengesellschaft the Citaro defines sustainable thinking and economy like no other urban bus: in the transport area served by SWEG the Citaro featuring the environmentally friendly diesel technology Euro VI stands for environmentally aware regular bus service and forms the backbone of local public transport.
In the presence of Undersecretary Elmar Steinbacher, Head of the Department of Transport at Baden-Württemberg's Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Transport, and Ulrich Bastert, Head of Marketing, Sales and Aftersales EvoBus GmbH, Hartmut Schick, Head of Daimler Buses, handed over eleven
Mercedes-Benz Citaro vehicles to Johannes Müller, Board spokesman for SWEG on 14 December at the Mannheim bus and coach plant. "We are delighted at SWEG's loyalty, and also at the confirmation that comes with it that we are able to offer the market an economical and state-of-the-art vehicle concept. For many transport companies the Citaro is a reliable partner you can also count on figuratively speaking", said Hartmut Schick.
The eleven vehicles, seven solo and four articulated buses, are a partial delivery from 26 of the Mercedes-Benz Citaro vehicles ordered by SWEG and its subsidiary companies in the year 2015. The option comprises a further 70 units until 2017. The state-of-the-art SWEG fleet comprises 318 company-owned plus 50 leased buses. The proportion of Mercedes-Benz vehicles in the SWEG fleet is some 95 percent.
Citaro in "lion design"
The "3-Löwen-Takt" is the umbrella brand in Baden-Württemberg's city-centre services. It represents the state's primary, coordinating role in local public transport. In order to anchor the brand firmly in consumers' minds, there is a consistent design concept for rail vehicles and buses. In keeping with the motto "die SWEG fährt im 3-Löwen-Takt" ("SWEG drives with 3-lion frequency") the eleven Citaro vehicles display the state colours of Baden-Württemberg both inside and out. A Staufer lion, an element of the Baden-Württemberg state's coat of arms, adorns the side sections of the Citaro, which are in signal yellow with white highlights. The distinctive "lion design" has also been continued in the interior: on the dark fabrics of the passenger seats the heraldic animal is resplendent sometimes with a yellow outline, sometimes with a light grey one. The signal yellow grab rails form the contrast to the dark interior. The colours of the "3-Löwen-Takt" ("3-lion frequency") are derived from the state colours of Baden-Württemberg, black and gold, with the bus design featuring a grey interpretation of black and a yellow interpretation of gold. The white serves as a background colour.
The Citaro as an energy storage unit
The Citaro is renowned for its superb economy. This is thanks not just to the efficient Euro VI diesel engines, but also to the recuperation module used (24 volt), with which the regular-service bus saves yet more fuel. The function is similar to an intelligent "energy collector": power produced free of charge in the overrun phase is stored and held ready for auxiliary consumers. This reduces the load on the drive system when moving off and thus lowers fuel consumption. Energy is stored in dual-layer capacitors (known as supercaps) with an output of 6 kW and capacity of 1 Ah. This technology reduces the Citaro's fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by more than two percent.
The Euro VI engine is in a class of its own where economy is concerned, and it proved this to impressive effect in the 2012 Record Run. With a saving of 8.5 percent over the comparable preceding model, the Citaro with a Euro VI engine exceeded all expectations.
SWEG – out and about for the South West
Modern and regional – this sums up how SWEG Südwestdeutsche Verkehrs-Aktiengesellschaft sees itself. The transport service offered stretches from Weil am Rhein and Lörrach in the South of Baden-Württemberg to the Bad Mergentheim area in the North East. Around 61 million passengers are carried by SWEG every year by rail and road if you include its eleven transport companies and four subsidiaries. Around 800 employees work for the company in the region.