MAN Truck & Bus reveal articulated electric bus details
MAN Truck & Bus is now giving details of its MAN Lion’s City 18 E articulated electric bus. The manufacturer has just announced that sales of the new model already started and in Cologne and Barcelona, the articulated e-bus is now also being integrated into regular service.
MAN had already shown the solo bus version of the Lion’s City E at Busworld in Brussels last October. Now the presentation of the 18-meter-long, articulated electric bus is to follow with sales having been open since April, the manufacturer now said.
According to the Volkswagen subsidiary, the model can accommodate up to 120 passengers. Two central electric motors on the second and third axles provide the drive, which has an output of 320 kW to a maximum of 480 kW. The energy for this comes from eight batteries on the roof of the articulated bus with a total capacity of 640 kWh. According to MAN, this is based on NMC cell technology from the Group’s modular system. The manufacturer estimates the range of the Lion’s City 18 E to be 200 kilometres or up to 270 kilometres under favourable conditions over the entire service life of the batteries. This means that the range forecast is in line with that of the 12-meter-long solo bus, which, with an output of 160 to 270 kW, is also expected to cover 200 to 270 kilometres.
This year, the manufacturer is sending both variants into everyday use by customers in five European countries. The demo fleet consists of 15 vehicles in total, with two solo units already being tested at Hamburger Hochbahn and the Hamburg-Holstein public transport authority. The VHH has ordered a total of 17 E-solo buses. The field tests with the MAN Lion’s City 18 E will be carried out under the direction of the Cologne transport authority and the Spanish operator Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona (TMB).
According to MAN, in the fourth quarter of this year, we can then expect the first customer vehicles from the series-production of the MAN Lion’s City E in the 12-metre solo version. The articulated bus variant will follow about six months later in the first half of 2021.
“With a length of 18 metres, the MAN Lion’s City 18 E is the perfect choice for all companies looking for a fully electric and thus locally emission-free city bus that can accommodate many passengers,” explains Rudi Kuchta, Head Business Unit Bus at MAN Truck & Bus. In terms of design, the electric version differs from its combustion engine counterpart in a few points – partly for technical reasons, partly to demonstrate its independence. One of the most striking differences is the omission of the engine tower and the placement of the batteries on the vehicle roof. This creates space for four additional seats at the rear, like the solo bus version.
According to MAN, the articulated bus is also equipped with an anti-kink protection system and an articulation angle control system: the targeted situation-specific distribution of drive torque to the two driven axles can prevent critical kinking situations. To ensure the ranges mentioned above, the electric city bus also has intelligent temperature management on board.
Meanwhile, the charging capacity specified by MAN is causing a stir. According to this, the Lion’s City 18 E “only” supports an average charging capacity of 100 kW and a maximum capacity of up to 150 kW. This means that only cable-bound charging in the depot is included, but not rapid intermediate charging at stops via pantograph where charging capacities of 450 to 600 kW are typical. According to the manufacturer, the model needs “less than four hours” to be fully charged.
“A survey of customers and the current experiences of our eMobility consulting team MAN Transport Solutions show that with a range of 200 kilometres, around 80 per cent of all lines can be served, so that recharging of the buses can only take place in the depot,” says a MAN spokesman, explaining the charging concept at the request of electrive. “With the constantly developing battery technology, higher ranges will also be possible in future, so that more lines can be operated. Moreover, the concept of depot charging does not fundamentally rule out interim charging in the depot, for example, during a lunch break”.
eTGM into regular transport operation
Meanwhile, concerning MAN’s electric truck eTGM: Friedrich Wenner GmbH is taking one of the first fully electric units into regular transport operation. The cardboard tonnage manufacturer generates the electricity for the 264 kW electric truck utilizing its photovoltaic system. The test vehicle is an eTGM in the configuration of a 6×2-4 three-axle chassis with steerable and liftable trailing axle for a gross vehicle weight of 26 tonnes. The electric vehicle is specially equipped with a dry freight box for moisture-protected transport of the cardboard boxes.
With reporting by Cora Werwitzke