Daimler Truck completes large electric bus order in Germany

Mercedes-Benz has delivered all 45 electric buses on order with the public transit company VLP in the northeast of Germany. Verkehrsgesellschaft Ludwigslust-Parchim (VLP) has now taken delivery of the last 15 vehicles of a significant order placed in 2019.

The project to procure electric buses for the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania with 45 vehicles for Verkehrsgesellschaft Ludwigslust-Parchim (VLP) and two vehicles for Rostocker Straßenbahn AG (RSAG) started with corresponding funding notices being handed over in December 2019. At that time, Mercedes expected to fulfil the order by late 2022.

Yet, with the Corona crisis and Russia’s war in Ukraine still unpredictable at the end of 2019, the minimal delay into 2023 is hardly worth mentioning. According to the Daimler Truck announcement, a batch of 15 eCitaro was handed over to VLP to complete the order.

The battery-electric vehicles in yellow and green livery use batteries totalling 378 kWh and offer two charging plug positions on the right above the front axle and in the rear. VLP, based in Hagenow near the state capital Schwerin, supports the deployment through a decentralized organization: 49 charging stations will be installed at twelve operating locations. In addition, VLP has opted for the so-called rough-road chassis with “increased angle of approach and departure for challenging terrain,” writes Daimler.

Moreover, since VLP had already received batches of the e-buses earlier, the company can look back at real-life ranges. Their practical experience with the first two tranches of 15 buses each “matches the expectations,” so the statement. The eCitaro range sometimes exceeds 300 kilometres in everyday operation and still returns to the depot with a remaining battery capacity of approx. 15 per cent. This means that the estimated mileage of around 50,000 to 60,000 kilometres per year is achievable, writes Daimler.

“The flexibility of our eCitaro is always amazing,” adds Mirko Sgodda, Head of Sales, Marketing and Customer Services Daimler Buses. “We are delighted that it can even prove its strengths as an inter-city bus with tailor-made equipment and a sophisticated deployment concept at the Ludwigslust-Parchim transport company.”

Ludwigsburg-Parchim is the second-largest district in Germany. VLP currently serves 172 routes with around 200 buses. The eCitaro delivery, therefore, translates to nearly one electric bus per every four buses by VLP. According to Mercedes, VLP is the first transport company in Germany to switch to electric buses on a large scale in rural areas.

Additional reporting by Sebastian Schaal, Germany.