Wiesbaden’s public transport operator, ESWE is building electric momentum as the first Daimler buses with solid-state batteries arrive. Now ESWE Verkehrsgesellschaft added corresponding charging infrastructure.
So far, the company put 21 new battery buses and 56 stationary charging columns into operation at the bus yard in Gartenfeldstraße. In use are 21 Mercedes-Benz eCitaro with solid-state battery, which complement the last ten battery buses.
The infrastructure initiative succeeds an order from 2019 when ESWE bought 56 eCitaro buses. ESWE expects Daimler to fulfil the entire order by the end of this quarter. Each of the 56 vehicles will then have a place to charge in the depot.
Interestingly, while the first eCitaro models for Wiesbaden were still equipped with lithium-ion batteries, the remaining 41 eCitaro models feature brand-new solid-state batteries. These batteries have a capacity of up to 441 kWh and should enable a range of 200 kilometres even in winter.
Daimler had announced at the presentation of the eCitaro series in July 2018 that it would be offering the electric city bus with solid-state batteries from 2020. Hats off, as they succeed in doing so.
The original report concluded that Mercedes-Benz was to take on the conversion of the depot. In the end, it was Heliox from the Netherlands, that installed the 56 charging stations and the medium-voltage grid connection. According to the contract, the Dutch company will also provide service and maintenance for the systems.
By the end of 2021, ESWE will have a total of 120 battery-electric buses of this type in service and will have installed the same number of charging points in the depot.
As for Mercedes-Benz, it looks like they mean it when it takes to solid-state technology. The company began cooperating with Canada’s Hydro-Québec almost exactly a year ago. They aim to test new materials under field conditions in France and Canada. Back then, Jochen Hermann, Vice President Development eDrive at Mercedes-Benz AG, called the developments “very promising.” He added that the battery is a key component of electric vehicles; mastering its chemistry is a vital issue for Mercedes-Benz research and development.
eswe-verkehr.de (PI ESWE, in German)