10 July 2018
The new eCitaro is not only an excellent electric bus, it is also a part of our eMobility System
Today, the curtain is going up. Our flagship of electromobility is presenting itself to the public in Mainz. The result of the hard work and efforts of our bus team in the recent weeks and months can now be viewed on the stage. The result is: the eCitaro, our electric urban bus of the Mercedes-Benz brand.
It drives locally emission-free and almost without any noise. It combines the thousand-fold established platform of the Citaro with new technological solutions. Accordingly, in view of the growing important of a well developed regional public transport system (ÖPNV) with locally emission-free buses, the eCitaro is an important building block for the bus mobility in the cities of tomorrow. With the electric Citaro, our diverse and well-established Citaro family is getting yet another new member. And our customers are already enthusiastic. Even before the world premiere of the eCitaro, we already have orders from Berlin, Hamburg and even Norway.
Overall, we can offer our customers a mature and very coherent product. The eCitaro is equipped with lithium-ion battery packages and an innovative thermal management system, which works with a highly efficient air conditioning system and water pump. Compared to the current Citaro, the energy requirement for heating, ventilation and climate control is reduced by as much as 40 percent. This extraordinary energy efficiency lays the foundation for achieving a viable driving range for the Citaro even under unfavorable conditions. Under perfect conditions, the eCitaro can drive for up to 250 km and now - during the hot summer months with the air conditioning – for at least 150 km. Thus, we are already covering one third of the relevant routes of the transport operations without any intermediate charging.
Besides the technology, the eCitaro also convinces with its design. Many ideas for the optics were taken from and further developed from the Future Bus, which will dominate the design of urban buses of tomorrow. Nevertheless, it originates from the Citaro family and continues to reflect its typical elements. Detailed information can be found in the interview with Stefan Handt, Head of Design Daimler Buses.
A holistic understanding of electromobility
Different E-Bus models already exist on the market. However, with respect to electromobility, we are not only laying a claim to being the first - much more than that, we also want to be the best. However, we also want to offer our customers not only a mature high-tech bus but also a complete eMobility system. In other words, in the full range from the intensive advance consulting to comprehensive service in aftersales, we are developing a customized solution for electromobility together with our customers. In this process, we are considering the entire process chain – including the service, which spans the initial stocking up with spare parts to the complete equipment of a model workshop and a training system for bus drivers and cleaning staff.
The eCitaro marks the start of an innovations campaign with a clear strategy that is aimed at the rapid and - most of all - viable electrification of the public transport system with buses in cities and conurbation areas. The first vehicle deliveries to customers will already start this year – Rhein-Neckar-Verkehrs GmbH will get the first vehicles for use in the metropolitan region of Rhein-Neckar.
Since the development of the battery technology is advancing at a rapid pace, a conversion to the future battery technology is already planned for the eCitaro. It is expected that the eCitaro will be equipped with the next generation of the currently used lithium-ion batteries with lithium-nickel-manganese-cobalt-oxide cells (NMC) in approximately two years. With 33kWh per battery module and a resulting total capacity of up to 330 kWh, the eCitaro will then cover around 50 percent of all applications.
In parallel with this development, the optional use of future lithium-polymer batteries is already planned in a second step. These batteries belong to the lithium-ion batteries, but the electrolyte here is present in solid form. That is why they are also described as solid-state batteries. Solid-state batteries are characterized by a particularly long life and high energy density. With a nominal battery capacity of around 400 kWh in the individual bus and additional capacity in the articulated bus, the eCitaro will cover about 70 percent of all requirements without any intermediate charging. Subsequently, the driving range of the eCitaro will be increased again by means of a range extender in the form of a fuel cell for electricity production. It will be designed to cover almost 100 percent of all requirements for urban buses. This technology will make intermediate charging and the required infrastructure superfluous in almost all cases.
The mature eCitaro is going to the starting line
Overall, with the eCitaro, our customers can expect to get not only a mature vehicle, but also a complete eMobility system that is customized especially for them.