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Mercedes-Benz electric Citaro city buses in operation in Mannheim and Heidelberg

Rhein-Neckar-Verkehr GmbH (rnv) has started operation of three fully-electric Mercedes‑Benz Citaro city buses in Mannheim and Heidelberg. (Earlier post.)

The first purely electric eCitaro bus service in Heidelberg goes from the main train station via the Seegarten to the Karlsplatz and then later to the Altstadt commuter rail station. Bus route 20 travels through Heidelberg’s city center every 20 minutes; in the future two vehicles will cover the 4km route with 12 stops.

One of Mannheim’s electric bus routes leaves from Käfertal train station and travels via Wasserwerkstraße to the Franklin district, a new district where members of the US armed forces used to live. The other route begins at the Platz der Freundschaft and ends at the new Taylor industrial estate, which also once belonged to the US armed forces. One eCitaro will be in operation on each route.

In Heidelberg, the vehicles will be on the road between 9.00 a.m. and 10.00 p.m. and in Mannheim between 6.00 a.m. and midnight. This corresponds to a daily mileage of about 200 kilometers or more per vehicle. Accordingly, lithium-ion batteries with a total capacity of 243 kWh will provide the electric power.

The battery design is modular, comprising 10 modules each with an output of 25 kWh. In addition to the six battery modules on the vehicle’s roof, four battery modules in the rear take the position of today’s drive system combination of combustion engine and transmission.

The buses are charged using a combi-2 plug, located on the right in the direction of travel above the front wheel housing. The new ISO 15118 standard offers extended functions which enable, for example, automatic authentication of vehicles without a separate charging card.

With the help of extended data transmission, Mercedes‑Benz developed a function with which automatic control of preconditioning in buses is realized via the charging connector. Thus, there is no need for additional cables or lines for compressed air, low voltage or communication.

The newly developed charging device has an output of up to 150 kW and is to be delivered to rnv together with the eCitaro.



Finally, MB e-buses are using modular flexible batteries with 10 modules to match required distance to service. The same approach could be used for trains, trucks, pick-ups, SUVs and Cars to give owners the options on the number of module to purchase.

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