eCitaro G with new battery technology headlines latest developments from Mercedes-Benz Buses

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The latest announcements from the German manufacturer include a new all-electric eCitaro G with solid-state batteries, Intouro inter-city bus and new Sprinter City 75 minibus

Mercedes-Benz says it is underscoring its leadership position in the bus segment with its most recent announcements. Launching its latest products, the manufacturer said that its new developments centre around environmental compatibility, safety, economic efficiency and comfort.

It called the new eCitaro G articulated bus with solid-state batteries ‘a pioneering achievement in automotive construction which demonstrates the company’s position as segment leader in technology for all-electric inter-city buses.’ The new Intouro promises to set new standards for inter-city buses, and not to be forgotten is the new Sprinter City 75, which Mercedes-Benz says raises the bar for minibuses yet again.

The new Sprinter City 75 will offer a capacity of up to 38 passengers and be available with a full driver’s partition. MERCEDES-BENZ BUSES

eCitaro G

Headlining the announcement is an all-electric 18.13m eCitaro G articulated version of its popular Citaro and eCitaro buses, with the option of solid-state batteries which Mercedes-Benz says puts it in the technological lead not just in the bus segment but in automotive construction worldwide.

The standard batteries in the eCitaro G and eCitaro are charged with DC current via a charging connector with a charging output of up to 150 kW via a connector located on the right-hand side above the front wheel arch, with alternative plug positions on the left-hand side and at the rear of the vehicle due to be offered in the coming spring.

The eCitaro as a rigid or articulated bus can also be supplied with a current collector/pantograph as an optional alternative to plug-in charging, and a further variant to follow will have contact rails for charging with a fixed-position pantograph. These two variations double the already high charging output to up to 300 kW.

Like the rigid bus, the articulated eCitaro G is powered by the familiar ZF AVE 130 electric axle driving the rear wheels. For maximum traction and use in demanding topography, the articulated bus can be supplied with two powered axles. The motors deliver up to 2 x 125kW of power per axle, generating 2 x 485Nm of torque.

Mercedes-Benz says that the new eCitaro G is the first city bus in its category anywhere in the world to be equipped with solid-state batteries, which have a very high energy density – around 25% greater than the coming generation of traditional lithium-ion batteries with liquid electrolyte. The new battery technology with an energy content of 441 kWh each is available both for the articulated bus and the rigid version of the bus and gives the eCitaro G a range of up to 220 kilometres in favourable conditions with average demands on speed, topography and load along with straightforward climatic conditions. In the winter with the heating in operation, the eCitaro G has a claimed range of 170 kilometres.

Another advantage of solid-state batteries is their long service life. The eCitaro/eCitaro G with this technology thus receives a basic warranty for up to 10 years or an energy throughput of up to 280 MWh per battery assembly.

Due to their different characteristics, city buses with solid-state batteries cover different applications than the lithium-ion batteries (or NMC) used previously. The eCitaro G and eCitaro will both be available with the option of solid-state batteries or new, more powerful NMC batteries.

Intouro

‘Maximum flexibility and economic efficiency, top levels of functionality and comfort and convenience tailored to a specific area of application, safeguarded by pioneering assistance systems’ is how Mercedes-Benz describes its new Intouro, a versatile coach which spans a range of uses from practical high-floor bus with luggage compartment to school buses and shuttle buses, as well as for moving employees round works sites and as a comfortable coach for day trips and weekend excursions.

The new Intouro will initially appear in the segment in which it enjoys the highest sales – as the 12.18-metre Intouro and the 13.09-metre Intouro M. These will be followed by the shorter Intouro K (10.75 metres in length) and the three-axle 14.88-metre Intouro L.

Mercedes-Benz says it is the first bus to feature the emergency braking assistance system Active Brake Assist 5 – or ABA 5 – which works using a combined radar and camera system. The new Intouro also signals a product overhaul by Daimler Buses in the inter-city bus segment: the previous MultiClass 400 UL and UL Business from sister brand Setra will be merged into the new Intouro. The Setra range will continue to include the Multiclass 400 LE Business model series. This will result in a clearly structured offering: the high-floor inter-city bus segment will be covered by the new Mercedes-Benz Intouro, whilst the Setra LE Business will represent the low-entry segment.

Sprinter City 75

The new Sprinter City 75 8.5m service bus with independent body offers capacity for up to 38 passengers, made more versatile by its new Inter Star Sprinter inter-city seating. The upholstered seats have a firm, high backrest and in addition to their comfort offer maximum safety thanks to the three-point safety belts fitted as standard equipment. The Sprinter City 75 has 12 seats arranged in the high-floor area, with seven more in the low-floor section.

Because drivers inevitably have frequent direct contact with their passengers, the new model features a full-width glazed driver’s partition, which will be available for the Sprinter City 75 from the end of the year to protect drivers from the risk of infection.

The new eCitaro G articulated bus. MERCEDES-BENZ BUSES