Battery-electric Mercedes-Benz Citaro city bus to debut in 2018 at IAA
10 November 2017
Mercedes-Benz will introduce its all-electric Citaro city bus (earlier post) in September 2018 at the IAA Commercial Vehicles show in Hanover.
The all-electric Citaro will feature a modular design for the Li-ion battery pack, enabling individually customized solutions for a wide range of applications and requirements in city traffic. The vehicle is driven by electric wheel hub motors at the rear axle, a system already proven over recent years in the Citaro G BlueTec Hybrid.
One of the particular features of the electric Citaro will be the thermal management of the bus’ drive and climate control systems. This thermal management reduces energy consumption significantly, thereby extending the range of the bus without changing the size of battery.
The Citaro with all-electric drive is currently being put through the same comprehensive cycle of trials and testing to which every other bus built by Mercedes-Benz is subjected. Prototypes have, for example, already successfully undergone initial winter testing in icy temperatures at the Arctic circle as well as summer testing in the heat of Spain’s Sierra Nevada.
The plan is that Mercedes-Benz will start production of a fully viable series-production electric urban bus in the autumn of next year. The bus is so well-proven that the brand is already tendering for contracts.
All the while MB has been holding back from the market watching it develop. Wonder what else is in the back room?
Posted by: Lad | 10 November 2017 at 08:39 PM
When you are at the top and have the best-seller, you don't need to disrupt yourself - just follow the market.
BYD, Proterra, et al could not make ordinary diesel buses and expect to compete with the established players. Therefore - or for other reasons - they create something new.
MB has been able to make this all along, they just didn't have any reason to.
Technically, converting a diesel bus into a battery-powered bus is at least an order of magnitude less difficult than converting and ICE car into a BEV (hint: space for batteries, and market requirement for range, vs. actual range driven between charges).
The commercial side is a little less straight-forward, since development costs can be recouped over a number of vehicles two-three orders of magnitude less than battery powered cars.
However, buses are often under political influence, so a city can specify that only battery buses need submit tenders, regardless of the CAPEX/OPEX split compared to diesel buses.
Posted by: Thomas Pedersen | 11 November 2017 at 05:21 AM
It seems that BYD, Proterra, Volvo and other e-bus manufacturers will have competition from one of the best city and long range bus manufacturer.
Too bad much lighter aluminum & carbon fiber bodies are not used. Our city used longer lasting aluminum locally built city buses for 20+ years from 1936 to 1960+.
Leon e-buses of Canada is using aluminum & fiber bodies for their new school buses.
Posted by: HarveyD | 11 November 2017 at 10:35 AM