Mercedes Benz has presented its fully electrically-powered city bus eCitaro. The bus will be manufactured in series at the Mannheim production plant. The first eCitaros will be delivered at the end of 2018 and go into operation in the framework of a so-called customer-oriented road test.

Rhein-Neckar-Verkehr GmbH, the local public transport operator in the Rhine-Neckar metropolitan area, signed the associated declaration of intent with Daimler subsidiary EvoBus GmbH in November 2017. At the end of the year the series manufacture of the eCitaro with its fully electric drive will begin in the Mannheim bus manufacturing plant. Hamburg and Berlin’s transport companies have already ordered a total of 35 buses.

Public funding supports development

A market-ready city bus transport system with pure battery drive is being developed under the “SAEBEL” project, which is funded by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) in the framework of the Electric Mobility funding guideline with a total of 1.85 million euros. To accelerate the market ramp-up of the eCitaro using fuel cell technology as a range extender, Daimler Buses is seeking funding within the National Innovation Programme for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NIP). The implementation of the funding guidelines is coordinated by NOW GmbH, the National Organisation Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology. The results of the different BMVI funding activities in terms of public transport will be brought together in the programme’s accompanying study in the context of the working group “Innovative bus drives”.