NEW e-CITARO IS HERE
Long awaited but finally after having presented a prototype in March this year, Mercedes-Benz has revealed the new eCitaro. No prototype this time, but a ready for production vehicle for which Mercedes-Benz has signed the first orders who will be delivered this year.
In an overwhelming show with an artist whom found himself between two Tesla coils catching the current with his hands causing lightning like a sort of Monster of Frankenstein together with a sound you would expect, Mercedes-Benz showed the new eCitaro to the tradepress in the traditional pre-IAA pressmeeting.
The new eCitaro has a tailor-made design with elements from the design of the Mercedes-Benz Future Bus. But it still is a Citaro. The front or face off the vehicle has the Mercedes-Benz star in its circle together with two horizontal lines to emphasise the corporate identity as in the passenger cars and the trucks. Martin Daum, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and responsible for Daimler Trucks & Buses, referred to the criticism Daimer was facing because of the long time the German company waited to present an electric city bus where competitors already are delivering fleets of up to a hundred electric buses. "We no longer place a question mark after electric mobility for trucks and buses. With our world premiere of the eCitaro today, we are shaping the future of the public transport network."
The new eCitaro is based on the Citaro, only this one has lithium-ion batteries (NMC) with a total capacity up to 243 kWh. They are modular in design. With the maximum complement of ten battery modules - four in he rear of the bus and up to six on the roof - the eCitaro in standard specification weighs 13.44 tonnes. In conjunction with a gross vehicle weight rating of 19.5 tonnes, this corresponds to a payload of more than six tonnes or around 88 passengers. The range will be at least 150 kilometres according to Mercedes-Benz but 250 kilometres should be possible. At Mercedes-Benz they rather talk about requirements for which the bus should be operated. Within two or three years a new generation of this battery with a larger capacity should be possible. As a third step Mercedes-Benz is planning a solid state battery of 250 kWh produced by the French company Boloré which will give even more power and also is lighter but has as disadvantage that no high power charging is possible. This battery will become available in about four years. When even more range is needed Mercedes-Benz is planning a fuel cell as range extender. This technology eliminates the need for opportunity charging and the complex infrastructure required for it. For the start of series production, plug-in charging is intended through a Combo 2 plug. There will also be an option to charge the eCitaro via a pantograph.
In case of a city bus the energy consumption is impacted significantly by climatic conditions and consequently by the need to cool and, above all, to heat the interior: thermal management. Compared with the current Citaro with combustion engine, the energy requirement for heating, ventilation and climate control has fallen by about 40%.
The first Mercedes-Benz eCitaro will be delivered at the end of the year and will go into practical operations in the context of a so-called customer-oriented driving test.