Mercedes-Benz reports that it already has definitive orders for more than 60 fully-electric eCitaro G articulated buses, with first deliveries slated for later this year. (Earlier post.) Shortly after its market launch, the new articulated bus will be available with new battery technologies. This includes being the first bus in its category to be equipped with innovative solid-state batteries.
With this articulated bus, Mercedes-Benz is consistently continuing the
electrification of city buses. Two years ago Daimler Buses presented the eCitaro, a fully-electric driven solo regular service city bus. Today, the battery-electric eCitaro is already a series production vehicle manufactured at the Mannheim plant. There are now hundreds in regular operation in many European towns and cities. The eCitaro G now follows; the company’s first fully-electric driven articulated bus can transport up to 146 passengers.
I am really very pleased that our Mercedes-Benz eCitaro has established itself very well since its market launch. This shows that we are on the right track, offering products that our society wants and that our customers can work with. With the eCitaro as an articulated bus variant, we are consistently continuing the electrification of city buses: the eCitaro G will be equipped with innovative solid state batteries on request. In doing so, we are setting the course for sustainable and efficient passenger transport in urban centers.
—Till Oberwörder, Head of Daimler Buses
The articulated bus is ideal for operations in heavily-frequented towns and cities with large numbers of passengers and is an important factor for improving the quality of life in inner cities. The new eCitaro G combines the advantages of the well-proven Citaro G articulated bus with the technology of the eCitaro and with technologies for battery and electric drives.
The eCitaro G is being launched with the NMC variant of lithium-ion batteries that have proved their worth many times in the eCitaro solo bus. Mercedes-Benz expects to increase the performance of the eCitaro G this year by switching to a new generation of NMC batteries. This will increase capacity considerably from 292 kWh to up to 396 kWh. The range of the articulated bus will be increased accordingly.
At the same time the eCitaro G is beginning a new chapter with innovative solid-state batteries to store energy. They will be optionally available as a second possible technology. Their huge bonus: solid-state batteries are characterised by high energy density and a particularly long service life. Chemically speaking these are lithium-polymer batteries. They are known as solid-state batteries because the usually liquid electrolyte is in solid form. Also raw materials such as cobalt, nickel and manganese are not used for this type of battery. Equipped with seven battery packs, the eCitaro G achieves a remarkable total capacity of 441 kWh and thus guarantees ranges typical of city bus operations.
As the use of solid-state batteries is extremely restricted for fast and thus intermediate charging, the battery technology covers other usage profiles than lithium-ion batteries (NMC). They, on the other hand, are ideal for fast charging whether during breaks between journeys at the depot or along the route. That is why Mercedes-Benz is pursuing a two-fold strategy and is offering the eCitaro G with both battery technologies as an option. Thus the new eCitaro G is a custom-made articulated bus which flexibly adapts itself to the various operational strategies of transport companies.
From 2022 the range of the eCitaro and eCitaro G will be increased yet again with a fuel cell as a range extender. This technology eliminates the need for intermediate charging and the complex infrastructure required for it in almost all cases.