eCitaro fuel cell buses to grace hilly Italian roads
The Mercedes-Benz eCitaro hydrogen fuel cell electric bus will be used in northern Italy from the end of this year. The public transport operator SASA has ordered nine examples of the 18-metre-long articulated version of the electric bus with a fuel cell range extender.
Daimler only just presented the eCitaro fuel cell bus a few days ago. SASA intends to use longer-range electric buses in the Italian region of South Tyrol between Merano and Bolzano.
Deliveries are scheduled between the end of 2023 and the beginning of 2024. The northern Italian public transport operator is Daimler’s first publically-announced customer for the new eCitaro variant. The market launch of the 18-metre variant of the eCitaro fuel cell coincided with its first appearance at the Global Public Transport Summit in Madrid and is not yet available for order as a solo bus. All technical details on the new range extender version of the Mercedes-Benz city bus are available here.
In its own statement, SASA is very brief about the purchase: “The eCitaro fuel cell has a range of 350 kilometres and offers space for up to 128 passengers. Due to the interaction of two technologies, it is, according to experts, ideal for the requirements in South Tyrol,” it says. Other public transport operators and hydrogen vehicle manufacturers, when considering both purely electric bus technologies and hydrogen fuel cell electric drives, commonly find that fuel cell vehicles are ideal for the kind of hilly landscapes typical in South Tyrol between Merano and Bolzano.
In November last year, the Vienna public transport operator Wiener Linien noted after tests with BEV and FCEV bus models battery buses are particularly suitable for rather flatter areas with corresponding charging possibilities, while H2 buses can also be used on demanding routes with gradients.
SASA Bolzano is already well into expanding its fuel cell bus fleet. It has placed another order with the Portuguese manufacturer CaetanoBus for the delivery of five fuel cell buses with a length of 12 metres and has also been using twelve Solaris Urbino 12 hydrogen fuel cell buses since 2021.