Daimler has set up a central charging station for electric buses at their Mannheim bus plant. It is designed for charging by cable as well as by pantograph. The station is used to charge the eCitaro during production and before delivery.
With its own charging station, the Group also wants to be able to test new charging technologies such as charging management, new communication protocols, new hardware for plug charging or roof-mounted pantographs. Customers should also be able to familiarize themselves with the various charging technologies during visits to the plant.
To date, the station offers 150 kW charging per plug and 300 kW charging per pantograph on the vehicle roof or charging arm on the infrastructure, which lowers on charging rails on the roof. The 150 kW chargers are located at each of the four parking spaces, one parking space each is prepared for one of the pantograph solutions – classic or inverted. According to the Daimler press release, chargers from two manufacturers are used. With a connected load of 1.2 MW, the bus manufacturer has prepared itself for the maximum case when all charging points demand full power.
Daimler has also opted for a two-storey solution on the modular design of the station: not only does the actual charging technology sit on the roof at a height of several meters for the pantograph, only the connections are located on the street level. This design saves space in the plant and also protects against expensive shunting damage.