ARTICULATED ELECTRIC CITARO JOINS DAIMLER E-BUS RANGE

By: Fabian Cotter, Photography by: courtesy Daimler Buses Europe


A FULLY ELECTRIC articulated version of the Mercedes-Benz eCitaro city bus – known as the eCitaro G – has already received more than 60 ‘definite orders’, the company has announced.

ARTICULATED ELECTRIC CITARO JOINS DAIMLER E-BUS RANGE
The first eCitaro G deliveries to several European transport operators are planned for this year, according to Daimler.

The new eCitaro G complements the electric range from Daimler Buses, marking the "...next milestone on the way to locally emission-free local public transport," it states.

With the new fully electric articulated bus, Mercedes-Benz is further expanding its role as a technological pioneer, it says; shortly after the eCitaro G’s market launch, it was confirmed it would be available with new battery technologies, such as being the first bus in its category to be equipped with innovative solid-state batteries, the company states.

The first deliveries to several European transport operators are planned for this year, according to Daimler.

The ‘artic’ version comes two years after Daimler Buses presented the regular fully electric ‘solo’ eCitaro city bus, which is now a series production vehicle manufactured at the Mannheim, Germany, plant. To date, hundreds of eCitaros are now in regular operation in many European towns and cities, Daimler says.

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Depending on which version is ordered, the eCitaro G can transport up to 146 passengers, the company adds.

"I am really very pleased that our Mercedes-Benz eCitaro has established itself very well since its market launch. This shows that we are on the right track, offering products that our society wants and that our customers can work with," said Till Oberwörder, head of Daimler Buses.

"With the eCitaro as an articulated bus variant, we are consistently continuing the electrification of city buses: the eCitaro G will be equipped with innovative solid state batteries on request.

"In doing so, we are setting the course for sustainable and efficient passenger transport in urban centers," Oberwörder explained.

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HIGH CAPACITY

The eCitaro G is being launched with the NMC variant of lithium-ion batteries that have proven their worth many times in the regular-length eCitaro version, the company says. Yet it is expected that Mercedes-Benz will increase the performance of the eCitaro G this year by switching to a new generation of NMC batteries. This will increase capacity considerably from 292kWh to up to 396kWh; the range of the articulated bus will be increased accordingly, says Daimler.

Alternatively, the eCitaro G can also be fitted with innovative solid-state batteries to store energy. They will be optionally available as a "second possible technology" says Daimler.

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Solid-state batteries are characterised by high energy density and a particularly long service life, the company explains. Chemically, these are lithium-polymer batteries and are known as solid-state batteries because the usually liquid electrolyte is in solid form. Also, raw materials such as cobalt, nickel and manganese are not used for this type of battery, the company adds. Equipped with seven battery packs, the eCitaro G achieves a total capacity of 441kWh and thus guarantees ranges typical of city bus operations, says Daimler.

According to the company, as the use of solid-state batteries is typically restricted for fast and thus intermediate charging, the battery technology covers other usage profiles than lithium-ion batteries (NMC). They, conversely, are ideal for fast charging whether during breaks between journeys at the depot or along the route. That is why Mercedes-Benz is pursuing a two-fold strategy and is offering the eCitaro G with both battery technologies as an option, it says. Thus the new eCitaro G is, "…a custom-made articulated bus which flexibly adapts itself to the various operational strategies of transport companies."

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INCREASING RANGE

From 2022 the range of the eCitaro and eCitaro G will be increased yet again with a fuel cell as a range extender. This technology eliminates the need for intermediate charging and the complex infrastructure required for it in almost all cases, confirms Daimler.

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