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Daimler Buses showcasing articulated eCitaro G fuel cell at mobility move 2024 in Berlin

At mobility move 2024, the electric bus conference with associated trade fair of the Association of German Transport Companies (VDV), held from 5- 7 March in Berlin, bus manufacturer Daimler Buses will be presenting for the first time a Mercedes-Benz eCitaro G fuel cell—an electric articulated bus with a hydrogen fuel cell as a range extender.


The Mercedes-Benz eCitaro G fuel cell is the first battery-electric articulated bus with a fuel cell to extend its range. The three-door electric articulated bus with a fuel cell range extender is equipped with four battery packs featuring the latest-generation lithium-ion batteries (NMC3) with a total battery capacity of 392 kWh.

A three battery pack version is also available. NMC3 batteries have a very high energy content and are highly durable. Charging is done using charging sockets positioned on the right and left above the front wheel. Optionally, a charging socket at the front or rear is also possible. The maximum charging output is 150 kW.


The hydrogen supply for the 60 kW fuel cell is provided by six H2 cylinders (optionally seven) each with a capacity of five kilograms, which are installed on the vehicle roof of the front section. The hydrogen tanks are refueled on the right side above the second axle in the direction of travel. With the combination of high-performance batteries and fuel cell, the eCitaro G fuel cell achieves a range of around 400 kilometers (249 miles) without needing to recharge.

Both the center and rear axles of the articulated bus are powered. The propulsion is provided as standard by two low-floor portal axles with electric motors located close to the wheels. The electric motors deliver 141 kW per wheel and achieve a torque of 494 N·m. This results in an outstanding torque of 11,000 N·m per wheel due to a fixed gear ratio. This ensures high traction and excellent performance even on challenging inclines.

The safety equipment in the electric articulated bus eCitaro G fuel cell at mobility move 2024 also includes a variety of state-of-the-art assistance systems. In addition to the standard Electropneumatic Brake System (EBS) and Traction Control System (ASR), Sideguard Assist and Preventive Brake Assist (PBA) contribute to enhanced safety.

Sideguard Assist supports the driver when turning and changing lanes by detecting pedestrians or cyclists in the blind spot next to the bus and issuing a warning the driver. Preventive Brake Assist is the world’s first active braking assistant for city buses. The exhibition bus is also equipped with an Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System (AVAS), which alerts pedestrians to the otherwise nearly silent operation of the eCitaro G fuel cell through sound.

The 270° camera system also contributes to safety, allowing the driver to see the area immediately behind and beside the vehicle during manoeuvring and in tight spaces.



Mercedes have chosen a really battery heavy solution, but the addition of a fuel cell greatly enhances its capabilities, especially when it gets chilly:


Fuel cells with their 'waste' heat mean as per the above, that range etc is near on constant even when it gets cold, as opposed to, per the above, a 20-40% drop in range for battery only solutions.

Batteries like being at a certain temperature, and operate most effectively within that, not to mention the occupants!


It is now clear that from an operating point of view, fuel cell assisted or driven alternatives simply outperform and are more flexible than battery only solutions.

Refuelling times and dealing with different temperatures put them in a clear lead.

Fuel efficiency has been the big cry against, but with renewables ever cheaper, that becomes ever less important.

Cost is also important, but it ain't just batteries which are dropping in cost.

If you were a fleet manager, would you rather have all electric, or a fuel cell component?


Davemart, you should read-up on Oslo's experience with a battery-electric bus fleet. You'll find lots of recent articles, because the usual sensationalist sites claimed that the city was practically shut-down during a recent cold spell. The reality is that they only need minor adjustments to their schedules on the coldest days of the year. As you probably know, a cold day in Vancouver or Wales (sites in your link) is considered balmy in Oslo!

That's not to say that these Mercedes buses won't find buyers. It seems like a nice up-sell for their electric city transit offer.


Bernard, if you want to provide information to a particular piece of information or analysis, perhaps you would provide links.

I dunno what you have been reading, but here:


Although it is clear that claims of transport in Oslo more or less stopping are exagerated, it is equally plain that there are genuine issues and adaptions needed:

' Although the cold does reduce an EV's range and charging speed, Professor Stefanopoulou believes it's all a matter of organisation and planning.

"The buses need to stay plugged in, if possible, early on, before they start the route and stay plugged in overnight. When you do that, the battery can start and operate at this maximum range."

"Then the transit authorities have to either adjust their routes and notify passengers or equip the bus with diesel heaters for these few cold months to make up for the 30% loss in range if they want to maintain a full schedule and their usual routes," explained the battery expert.'

Which is pretty much exactly what I have claimed.
Nowhere have I said it is impossible to run on all electric, as if the worse came to the worse additional charge points etc could be installed en route.

None of that is remotely as easy or easily managed as using fuel cell assisted vehicles, which can simply do the job without fuss.

Where it gets cold vehicles with a fuel cell assistance of one level or another are clearly operationally superior.

It really is as simple as that.


Additionally without being an expert in the climate of Oslo, it seems highly likely that it will be cold in the winter, which means that although you would have to overprovision in one way or another in your all electric bus fleet, you could perhaps be reasonably certain, or at least hopeful, that your scheduling would work.

For climates more like the UK, you never really know what is going to happen, and even the forecasts although helpful can be quite wrong.

So with an all electric fleet you would be continually re-adjusting and rescheduling on the fly.

With a fuel cell assisted fleet you would have exactly zero adjustments to make.

Unless of course some percentage of your fleet were BEV, in which case you would likely have to pull FCEVs across to cover for where the BEVs were going to fall short.

There is no comparison in the management implications of running BEVs and FCEVs.

Anywhere it can get cold, especially just sometimes, BEV only pose very substantial management issues.

There are none running FCEVs.


Davemart, the story you found is very similar to the ones I found. Perhaps they all originated from the same wire story.

The takeaway is that transit agencies may need to adjust some routes and sometimes add charging stops mid-day, but that it is eminently manageable. Managing transit is what transit agencies do every day, after all. It isn't very different from scheduling around sick days, road closures, major sporting/entertainment events, other types of inclement weather, etc.

I think it's interesting to contrast how a large European city deals with regular periods of arctic cold, compared to pundits who claim that it's impossible to do so.

This doesn't take away from the Mercedes option of adding a few hydrogen generators in a fleet of otherwise identical Mercedes electric buses, "just in case." It's a good up-sell. I strongly suspect that these buses (with very prominent branding) will run on battery power for their entire service life, to a close approximation. There will be a photograph in the local news showing the mayor and other officials ceremoniously standing next to the H2 refill station, which they will use to point-out their "green initiatives" when election time comes around.


Bernard said:

' I think it's interesting to contrast how a large European city deals with regular periods of arctic cold, compared to pundits who claim that it's impossible to do so.'

!! Straw man argument!
No one, or at any rate certainly not me, says it is impossible, just that it imposes costs and restrictions.

The fact remains that in the cold, and particularly in intermittent and unpredictable cold snaps, significant rescheduling, maybe on the fly to keep costs down, would be needed for a BEV fleet.

And that a percentage of FCEVs, which indeed as they are currently more expensive than BEVs, would mitigate the problem only highlights the reasonable conclusion.

BEVs pose significant management and scheduling challenges.

FCEVs are indifferent to the climate, and pose none at all.

In some respects, they are beyond reasonable doubt easier to manage and more competent.


RE: "BEVs pose significant management and scheduling challenges."

I got the opposite impression. BEVs can be managed by transit agencies, just as they manage many other factors every day. Don't forget as well that the weather conditions that Oslo deals with regularly during a winter would be a once-a-decade event in most large cities.

I don't know where you got "significant management and scheduling challenge" from. It's just a normal part of transit planing, just like changing a route and adding buses when there's a street carnival, or re-routing around roadwork.

You may not realize this, but lots of public institutions have special procedures for inclement weather, not just transit. You probably do as well, for instance you might do your shopping early if there's a snowstorm in the forecast. It's the same thing on an institutional scale, except they have a folder that says "what to do if the forecast calls for sub -15c temps."



I am unable to follow your argument.

If you have cold weather, if you have a fleet with BEVs you have to do substantial rescheduling and alterations, sometimes the same day.

The effect of cold weather on FCEVs is effectively zero.

In what world is that not far easier to manage?

Lots of things can be managed to some level or another, including wars and whatever.

No sensible person would choose to do so, or would imagine it cost free though.

FCEVs are simply superior from a fleet management point of view.


Davemart, you are correct: you are confused again. Go back and read what Oslo transit stated. It's just standard ops, according to the people who do this every day. It's a problem that has already been solved.

You seem to think that it's an insurmountable burden to do what transit agencies do every day of the year. That's fair enough, just leave it to the experts.



You are simply inventing straw man arguments.
No one is saying it is insurmountable, that is your invention.

Just that it presents costs and inconveniences.

Other things being equal, it is preferable to run stuff which is not bothered if it gets cold.

What the actual balance is depends on the costs of extra management, reserve equipment and so on, versus premiums for buses which aren't bothered by the cold.

As for what the best balance is, why not leave that to the experts as per your own advice?
Many of them seem to want either some or complete fuel cell solutions, whilst others are going more battery heavy.

You appear to imagine that the experts who specify fuel cells are ill informed compared to yourself, as you have a universal and universally applicable solution.


Davemart, your argument is with the good people of Oslo, not with me. They have real-world experience. Perhaps you can write them and explain your disagreement? They may have additional data to share.


No problem with orders, or pragmatic assessments of what gets the job done, which is a choice made in the light of regulations like 'zero emissions' with the cost of technology to hand.

Where I have issues is with absolutist claims about 'batteries only' - the Final Victory

A substantial supplier of buses to Oslo is Solaris:


And Solaris themselves are heavily involved in Fuel cell as well as BEV buses:

' The municipal public transport operator TPER in the city of Bologna is going to purchase as much as 130 hydrogen buses. These zero-emission vehicles will be supplied by Solaris. '


But what do they know?
What do engineers making pragmatic date driven decisions know?

Batteries good.
Fuel cells bad.

Way to go.


You'd be hard-presses to find an EV bus manufacturer that hasn't displayed a "fuel cell range extender" demo. As the main article above explains, it's a matter of finding room to stuff-in a fuel cell and hydrogen tanks, which they can get from third parties.
The fuel cell acts as a slow charger, as with the Mercedes example above.

You would do the same if you managed those companies. After all, they regularly bid on large projects and have to "fill-in all of the checkboxes" to qualify.

That's irrelevant to your claim that fuel cells are necessary for zero-emission transit in cold climates, which is clearly untrue in real life.

Please stop accusing anyone who points you to real-world examples. This is usually a very respectful website, there's no need for that kind of discourse. We all want a better future, and this includes fuel cells. You need to accept that hydrogen fuel cells are not the one solution to every problem.



' your claim that fuel cells are necessary for zero-emission transit in cold climates,'

Please either provide the exact quote with references, or stop talking nonsense.

I made no such claim.

Sure, you can do it with batteries.

It is just that it is way, way easier if you also use a fuel cell.

That is just how they work.



Wanna bet that Oslo won't trial more fuel cell buses?

Sure, they have gone battery for the overwhelming proportion of their zero or low emisson buses.

That is because fuel cell ones were expensive.

They won't suddenly 'switch' to fuel cell buses, as that is not how public transport operators work,

They need real world data, in their particular location and operation profile.

I expect further limited trials of fuel cell assisted buses, with the Mercedes offering a strong contender.

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