Following the first deliveries of the Mercedes-Benz eCitaro in Germany, Daimler reports that the first calls for its electric bus have now also been received from neighbouring European countries, namely Luxembourg, France and Poland.
Within the next few days, several eCitaro vehicles will arrive at Daimler Bus locations and travel to contractual partners in these countries for testing purposes. Once there, the electric buses “are to convince the local public transport managers of their qualities and practical suitability on their own transport routes,” says an accompanying press release. Meanwhile, deliveries to other German cities such as Mannheim are continuing in parallel.
With this announcement, Daimler is demonstrating that the bus plant in Mannheim is finally ready to deliver the much-awaited buses. There, production of the eCitaro, which was presented for the first time this summer, is now running “at series level,” the German Automotive giant says. Daimler had garnered criticism for not coming onto the market with its electric bus until so much later than its international competitors such as BYD or Solaris to name but a few.
The eCitaro buses that are up for testing in European cities have ten battery packs with a total capacity of 243 kWh and electric motors close to the wheel hubs. Daimler describes the innovative thermal management, battery cooling, air conditioning with heat pump and networking of components as the highlights.
For future editions of the electric buses, Daimler has set Akasol to work on improving the energy density, aiming for 330 kWh without changing the size of the packs. The current eCitaro features a modular battery set up with each package contributing around 25 kWh to the total capacity. At the moment, the number of modules can be increased to up to ten. A fuel cell version of the electric bus is likely to be launched in future.
Additional reporting by Nora Manthey.