Recently launched in right hand drive form, the Mercedes-Benz eCitaro is continuing to prove a popular choice for operators seeking an electric option on the continent, with recent deliveries to a number of operators.
In Switzerland, the electric bus era has begun for Baselland Transport (BLT) in Basel with the arrival of five eCitaros based at its Oberwil-Hüslimatt bus depot for use on its route 37 in what it called a pilot project. Eight more of the type are due to follow. BLT links the city of Basel to the surrounding region via bus and train in the cantons of Basel-Land, Basel-Stadt, Solothurn and in France. Last year, the company’s 65 buses transported about 8.1 million bus passengers.
The operator has installed a photovoltaic system on the depot roof which produces approximately 1.2 million kWh of electricity per year, and since 2012 has used only certified green electricity from renewable energy sources from Swiss hydro-electric plants.
The operator said the eCitaro beat stiff competition in practical tests and fulfils the required criteria best.
In southern Germany, the Bavarian UNESCO World Heritage city of Regensburg is also switching on to the eCitaro. Six of the type have joined the operator’s fleet as it seeks to switch to electromibility in the shortest possible time-frame. As in Basel, Regensburg has opted for the 12-metre model, fitted with Sideguard Assist turning assistant, active Preventive Brake Assist and a tyre pressure monitoring system. Drivers also benefit from an air-conditioned cab and a cool box.
Meanwhile in Hamburg, a city known for its earlier large-capacity articulated and bi-articulated buses, Mercedes-Benz has handed over two eCitaro G articulated buses to Hamburger Hochbahn and Verkehrsbetriebe Hamburg-Holstein (VHH), with orders for the model totalling around 70 for the city’s operators.
Mercedes-Benz is in the process of supplying 37 eCitaros to VHH, with 20 already delivered, and 34 to Hamburger Hochbahn. Both orders include rigid and articulated buses, and both are follow-up orders after extensive practical testing with numerous eCitaro buses in daily operations around Hamburg. The articulated buses supplied to the two companies are four-door versions of the 18.13-metre bus.
Hochbahn operates buses and trams in the city, using around 1,000 buses to serve its 113 routes and approximately 1,400 stops. It carries around 214 million passengers per year, and since last year, has only ordered locally emission-free urban buses. VHH operates 155 routes in the wider Hamburg metropolitan region with a fleet of almost 700 buses. It carries more than 100 million passenger annually and since 2020 has also procured only locally emission-free buses for use in Hamburg’s urban area.