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Two Mercedes-Benz Citaro G BlueTec Series Hybrid Buses in Field Test With Hamburger Hochbahn Transit Company

The Hamburger Hochbahn Transit Company is running two Mercedes-Benz series hybrid Citaro G BlueTec Hybrid buses in a field test. The articulated Citaro G BlueTec Hybrid (earlier post) can travel for stretches solely on electric power provided by the Li-ion battery pack without using its diesel engine.

The 18-meter hybrid bus is driven by four electric motors which are integrated directly into the wheel hubs on the center and rear axles, with a combined output of 320 kW. The combustion engine has only 4.8 liters displacement as opposed to the standard 12, and its output of 160 kW is around one-third lower. Instead of 1,000 kg, it weighs only 450 kg.

The energy storage unit in the new Mercedes-Benz Citaro G BlueTec Hybrid is a lithium-ion battery pack with a maximum output of 240 kW and, with a weight of less than 350 kg, it’s also relatively light.

The two Citaro G BlueTec Hybrid buses in Hamburg are the first such vehicles to be sold and also used within the framework of a customer field test in Germany. This year, Daimler will test around 30 Citaro G BlueTec Hybrid buses in selected model regions. The buses will demonstrate their suitability for everyday use by operating in regions with different topographies and speed profiles.


Henry Gibson

Oh dear, the dear old Hochbahn is ignoring the European made, thoroughly tested, ZEBRA battery with a far greater environmental temperature range with simpler cooling. If more acceleration was needed more cells could be used or simple electric flywheels used as they were several decades ago in London and New York. After the used cells were not suitable for buses they could be repackaged and repaired for use in the Hochbahn's rail vehicles from Hauptbahnhof to Billstedt and elsewhere.

The more vehicles that use the ZEBRA battery the less they will cost, as now, nearly all the cost is in labour, and this would be changed with more automation.

ZEBRA's expensive vacuum insulated case is not needed for stationary applications because weight and size are not as important.

Sodium Sulphur batteries, ZEBRA battery relatives, can be connected to each and every third rail segment and also used to support the grid and suck up excess windpower from Denmark or nuclear power from France at night.

Because of the invention of Compact Fluorescent Lamps and other electronic fluorescent balasts and transistorized motor drives for air circulation and water pumps also transistorized inverters and powersupplies for computers, all power needs of a third rail transportation system can be supplied by direct current. As can also the power needs of any new building be supplied from batteries feeding the circuits directly.

Capstone turbines can be used for cogeneration and charging the batteries.

The Capstone turbines may become even cheaper than diesel engines for use in buses and do not require exhaust treatment. They also require no oil changes and no cooling system and can operate continuously for a year without stopping. They also are probably more efficient than diesels used in ordinary buses. The hybrid system improves the efficient operation of any vehicle.

Buses can use electrical contacts in the road at stops or suspended ones for recharging as can trolleys.

ZEBRA batteries in all the rail vehicles of a third rail transportation system can make the maintenance, operation and construction of such systems much cheaper. The ability of low technology flywheels to provide high power should also not be ignored. ..HG..

Roger Bedell

These would be perfect for adding rapid charging. They have everything you need, just replace the batteries with fast charging LTO batteries, and a charging station, and voila. They can run on battery only most of the time, with the diesel kicking in only when needed as a backup. Practically no additional engineering, with a much bigger payback, instead of getting just 20-30% better fuel economy (still uses diesel you know!) , you could shift to almost 100% electric operation. What's the hold up? More info:

Electric operation with hybrid drive system
20-30 percent lower diesel consumption and CO2 emissions
No emissions and practically silent during some stretches along the routes
One of the world’s largest lithium-ion batteries in use in a vehicle

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