Mercedes-Benz is supplying 129 Citaro G hybrid 18m articulated buses to Belgium’s TEC Group. This is one of the largest orders for articulated buses in recent years. The vehicles will be delivered by summer of this year. The delivery also includes a comprehensive service contract valid for eight years.
The Citaro G is a 48V mild hybrid. A 14 kW, 220 N·m electric motor is positioned between the engine and the automatic transmission. On overrun or when the bus is braking, the energy recovery phase, the motor acts as a generator to produce electric power, which is briefly stored by the Citaro hybrid in capacitors. When the bus accelerates again, the electric motor uses the stored energy to assist the diesel or gas engine with extra torque. Mercedes-Benz calls this the support phase.
The electric motor also serves as a starter-alternator in the current S-Class, while the additionally required cooler for the motor and inverter is used by Mercedes-Benz Trucks and the water pump can be found in many Mercedes-Benz cars.
The Citaro G compact hybrid module reduces fuel consumption of articulated buses by up to 8.5%.
Depending on the type of operation, the new Citaro G hybrid buses have three doors (suburban operation) or four doors (inner-city operation). Passengers with limited mobility can board with the help of an electrically powered cassette lift.
Drivers sit behind an all-glass cab door. They are assisted by the active brake assistance system, Preventive Brake Assist and Sideguard Assist which gives support when turning, both with pedestrian detection.
The Belgian public transport corporation Transport en Commun, TEC Group for short, is responsible for local public transport in the Walloon Region of the kingdom of Belgium. The TEC Group employs a staff of about 5,200, of whom approximately 3,200 are drivers. There are almost 2,400 buses in operation, plus a few trains. The TEC Group operates 767 routes and transports approximately 150 million passengers every year.