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MAN Lion’s City 18 E articulated electric bus to begin practical testing in Barcelona and Cologne later this year

MAN is introducing a new 18-meter articulated electric bus this year. The new MAN Lion’s City 18 E electric articulated 18-meter bus will begin testing with customers in Barcelona and Cologne in the second half of 2020. Sales of the 18-meter electric bus started in April.


As part of its e-mobility roadmap, MAN Truck & Bus is sending a fleet of demo e-buses to customers in five European countries this year. The fleet comprises 15 test vehicles, which will be deployed as part of everyday operations. This testing program includes two field trials with the new MAN Lion’s City 18 E.

Two electric central motors on the second and third axles give the bus the power it needs for city traffic. In contrast to electric motors positioned close to the wheel hubs, these models are easier to access and have a simpler design. As such, transport operators benefit when it comes to maintenance work and the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).

The two driven axles are electronically synchronized and also help to improve the handling of the articulated bus as they boost driving stability and, in turn, the level of safety.

In addition, the articulated bus comes with an anti-jackknifing control system and kink angle control system, which further improve driving stability. Critical jackknifing situations can thus be prevented in advance as the drive torque can be selectively distributed to the two driven axles in line with the specific situation at hand.

Moreover, the two driven axles increase the maximum energy recovered under braking.

The higher level of recuperation means the electric articulated bus is always highly efficient, regardless of the driver’s driving style or the topography.

—Rudi Kuchta, Head of Business Unit Bus at MAN Truck & Bus

In the MAN Lion’s City 18 E, the fully electric driveline produces between 320 kW and a maximum of 480 kW. The energy for this comes from the modular batteries with 640 kWh of installed capacity. Here, MAN relies on the fully developed lithium-ion (NMC) battery cell technology from the Volkswagen Group’s modular kit.

The batteries have an intelligent temperature management system that has been optimized for use in city buses. This system ensures that the batteries are always readily available, regardless of the time of year. As a result, the MAN Lion’s City 18 E offers a range of 200 km (124 miles)—and up to 270 km (168 miles) in favorable conditions—over the entire service life of the batteries.

There are a total of eight battery packs, which are located on the roof of the articulated bus. This is advantageous because it means the batteries are located away from the rear of the vehicle, which is an area at higher risk of a collision. It also means they are easier to access for servicing. The batteries are charged at the depot via a Combined Charging System plug (CCS). With an average charging power of 100 kW and a maximum power of up to 150 kW, the articulated bus can be fully charged in less than four hours.

The use of an electric drive system has also benefited the vehicle’s interior, as the engine tunnel has been omitted. This gave the developers plenty of scope to optimize the rear of the vehicle. The 18-meter version of the Lion’s City E can carry up to 120 passengers.

In December 2019, MAN Truck & Bus delivered the first two 12-meter electric buses to the transport operators Hamburger Hochbahn AG and Verkehrsbetriebe Hamburg-Holstein GmbH for everyday use in the Hanseatic port city. This year, another 13 demo vehicles will be deployed in practice as part of the e-mobility roadmap. Over the course of 2020, the demo fleet of 15 electric buses in total will then be running customers’ services in five European countries (Germany, Spain, Luxembourg, Belgium, France).

As part of this testing programme, MAN will also hand over the 18-meter electric bus to the transport operators Kölner Verkehrs-Betriebe AG (KVB) in Cologne and Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona (TMB) in Spain, in order to conduct the planned practical testing there, too. The first mass-produced MAN Lion’s City E 12-meter solo-version buses are set to be delivered to customers in the fourth quarter of 2020. The fully electric Lion’s City E in the articulated bus version will follow approximately six months later, and should go into series production in the first half of 2021.


Thomas Pedersen

Sure, batteries and e-motors only work in numerous other applications, not to mention 300,000 e-buses in China (!), so lets delay further by testing whether they might also work in a European bus in a European city..?

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