MAN to begin articulated e-bus production in Poland
MAN has announced that the series production of the Lion’s City 18 E articulated bus will start in Poland in April. Some vehicles that are still assembled in pre-series will be in service earlier: one such Lion’s City 18 E will go into regular service in Cologne from April.
According to Volkswagen-owned MAN, the vehicle for Cologne, Germany was the first delivery of the company’s own electric articulated bus. From the beginning of April, the Lion’s City 18 E will be used by the Cologne public transport company (KVB) on line 127, which is one of the longest lines in the KVB bus network.
According to Kuchta, a second articulated bus is soon to be delivered in Barcelona. The vehicles in Germany and Spain are part of a field trial. “Working together with transportation companies, we aim to gather extensive experience, which will then be used to continually improve our city buses,” says Rudi Kuchta Head Business Unit Bus at MAN Truck & Bus.
Series production of the electric articulated bus is scheduled to start in April at the Polish MAN plant in Starachowice, where the Lion’s City 12 E has already been rolling off the production line as a solo bus since October 2020. “The aim was and is to fully integrate the series production of our electrically powered city buses with the production of conventional city bus types together on one production line. And we have succeeded,” Rudi Kuchta explains.
The first examples of the series-produced version built in Poland will go to Nuremberg in Germany. At the beginning of this year, VAG Verkehrs-Aktiengesellschaft Nuremberg ordered 28 MAN Lion’s City 18 E buses in addition to eleven Lion’s City 12 E buses. For MAN, this was the largest electric bus order to date and the company’s first order ever to include articulated e-buses.
Another order for the Lion’s City 18 E currently comes from Uppsala, Sweden, where Gamla Uppsala Buss AB (GUB) has ordered twelve electric articulated buses. Delivery is scheduled for May 2022. The framework agreement with Gamla Uppsala Buss includes an option for a further 65 MAN electric buses by 2023 – 45 of which are Lion’s City 18 E and 20 Lion’s City 12 E solo buses.
The Lion’s City 18 E will be able to carry up to 120 passengers. The drive is provided by two electric central motors on the second and third axles that produce 320 kW to a maximum of 480 kW. Eight batteries on the roof of the articulated bus give a total capacity of 640 kWh. MAN says it uses NMC cell technology from the group’s modular system. The manufacturer puts the range of the Lion’s City 18 E at 200 kilometres or up to 270 kilometres under favourable conditions over the entire service life of the batteries.