The public transport company Verkehrsbetriebe Hamburg-Holstein (VHH) in Germany has ordered 16 units of the Mercedes-Benz eCitaro electric city bus. The buses are expected to be delivered at the end of 2019.
For the first time the buses features twelve battery packs with total capacity of 292 kWh. This results in a long range, even in difficult conditions at the height of summer and in winter, amounting to around 170 kilometers (106 miles) in accordance with SORT2, without recharging along the route. In ideal conditions, the range can even be as much as about 280 kilometers (174 miles).
Glazed side-wall segments around the standing area between the axles give the passenger compartment of the eCitaro an even airier and more transparent appearance and lend the city buses an individual look in terms of character. A large special-use area opposite door two creates lots of space for transporting wheelchairs, prams and for standing passengers. Last but not least, three double-width doors ensure a rapid passenger flow at bus stops. USB charging ports for smartphones, a new seat upholstery design developed for the electric buses, and the wood-look floor covering all enhance the passenger compartment.
The company Verkehrsbetriebe Hamburg-Holstein (VHH) uses more than 150 buses to connect the metropolis of Hamburg with the surrounding area. The area served by VHH includes the city of Hamburg itself and the surrounding districts. The company’s fleet comprises more than 500 buses, by far the majority of which are from Mercedes-Benz. They carry more than 100 million passengers per year.
As of 2020, VHH wants to buy exclusively locally emission-free buses for use in the Hamburg city area. In order to prepare for electromobility the Bergedorf depot has become the first of VHH’s twelve depots to be converted for electromobility with a newly built workshop hall and the necessary charging infrastructure.
The 16 eCitaro vehicles are charged at the depot’s charging point using a charging management system. This technology ensures precise charging of every single bus to suit its specific application, without any unnecessary and expensive current spikes. In this context, the interior of the buses is also thermally preconditioned. This cuts the energy consumption for climate control during use and thus extends the range.