Just weeks after Mercedes-Benz unveiled its eCitaro G, three of the type have entered service in Zurich providing links to high-tech destinations in the Swiss city. The buses will be used on the ETH Link service which connects the ETH Zentrum and ETH Hönggerberg sites at Zurich’s public university, the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH).
Operator Eurobus welti-furrer AG is therefore the first company to introduce the fully electric articulated bus in regular service. The ETH Link provides a fast connection between ETH’s Zentrum and Hönggerberg sites, and the new eCitaros replace diesel buses on the shuttle service. The three 18.13m articulated buses are equipped with a current collector for intermediate charging, using green energy thanks to Swiss hydro-electric power.
Patrick Nussbaumer, Managing Director of Eurobus welti-furrer AG, said he is impressed by the buses: “In addition to being environmentally friendly, the new electric buses are characterised in particular by smooth running, comfortable low-floor entry and an attractive interior and exterior design. The ETH is thus setting an example and strengthening its position as a future-oriented educational institution.”
Armin Krieg, Head of Regular Service Bus Sales at EvoBus (Switzerland) AG: “We are delighted that with the introduction of the eCitaro G, we are able to continue our schedule for electromobility in city buses and can underscore the leadership of Daimler Buses with regard to innovation and technology at, of all places, the very centre of technical and scientific research and teaching.”
The buses are recharged at the Hönggerberg stop via a charging station with an output of 300 kW. The charging mast is fitted with a contact hood which the current collector mounted on the vehicle docks with. The eCitaro Gs have a battery capacity of 243 kWh, and offer space for a total of 131 passengers (38 seated and standing room for 93) with two wheelchair spaces, with a wheelchair ramp fitted at one of the four doors. The ETH buses are also fitted with WiFi and USB ports.
The ETH Link is for students and employees at the ETH Zurich, and also provides a link to the main railway station. Eurobus is a part of the Knecht Group and is one of the largest private bus companies in Switzerland with a fleet of 270 buses, including mini and regular buses as well as touring coaches.