26 June 2018
On 26 June at Daimler's Mannheim bus and coach plant, public transport operator Rhein-Neckar-Verkehr GmbH (RNV - Rhine-Neckar Transport) took delivery of the first four of seven Citaro hybrid vehicles. Rüdiger Kappel, head of Fleet Sales Germany, handed over the symbolic key of the new hybrid fleet to Markus Wolf, head of the Motor Vehicles department at RNV Mannheim. The purchase of the new, environmentally friendly Mercedes Benz Citaro hybrid buses is just one of the immediate measures that RNV has taken to improve the air quality in the cities of Mannheim, Ludwigshafen am Rhein and Heidelberg.
Minimizing emissions – increasing availability
The hybrid elements significantly reduce the emissions of the Citaro city bus to make the model even more environmentally friendly and interesting for municipalities and cities keen to pursue an active environmental policy. The model features an electric motor positioned between engine and automatic transmission which uses the energy recovered during coasting or braking to support the diesel engine with additional torque. Thanks to the electric support, the combustion engine has to generate significantly lower levels of output during acceleration or when moving off, thereby saving fuel and cutting emissions.
All seven Citaro hybrid vehicles feature identical equipment, including tactile grab bars at doors one and two as well as a mechanically folding ramp. By taking out three rows of seats, the public transport operator has been able to gain a large area in the center of the vehicle for two wheelchairs, which can be used alternatively for special purposes such as carrying bicycles or pushchairs.
RNV is relying on the new "OMNIplus Uptime" telematics system to implement a fleet management system. "OMNIplus Uptime" permanently monitors and analyses vehicle data to derive recommended actions, thereby boosting vehicle availability and optimizing maintenance and service processes.
The procurement of the seven new, environmentally friendly Mercedes-Benz Citaro hybrid buses is one of the immediate steps being taken by RNV as part of its master plan for sustainable mobility in the Rhine-Neckar metropolitan region in the south west of Germany. Roughly speaking, this metropolitan area encompasses parts of the three federal German states of Baden-Württemberg, Rhineland-Palatinate and Hesse and incorporates the cities of Mannheim, Ludwigshafen and Heidelberg. With a population of 2.4 million, the region is considered Germany's seventh largest economic area. Taken together therefore, the combined local public transport network for the three cities, as served by RNV, is correspondingly important. It is the company's clearly defined objective to drive forward sustainable local public transport.
Five Mercedes-Benz Citaro hybrid vehicles will be in service in Ludwigshafen in the Rhineland-Palatinate, while two will operate on the opposite side of the Rhine River in Mannheim, Baden-Württemberg.