Three full-electric eCitaros are to go into service this monthnwith Heidelberg and Mannheim operator Rhein-Neckar-Verkehr (rnv). The first eCitaro bus service in Heidelberg runs from the main rail station via Seegarten to the Karlsplatz and then to Altstadt commuter rail station, while one of Mannheim’s electric bus routes runs from Käfertal train station via Wasserwerkstraße to the Franklin district, a new district where members of the US armed forces used to live, and the second from the Platz der Freundschaft to the new Taylor industrial estate, which also once belonged to the US armed forces. One eCitaro will be in operation on each route.
“The eCitaro is redefining conventionally driven bus transportation and is for us the symbol for future-oriented local public transport. A holistic approach is very important to us,” says Till Oberwörder, head of Daimler Buses. “That is why we have put together a comprehensive package comprising the vehicle, charging management and consultation with which we are supporting the transport company in its endeavour to electrify its buses.”
The target range for the eCitaros is more than 200km, according to Daimler, with the buses utilising top-up charging during breaks in operation, which necessitates an additional eCitaro to cover the operation in Heidelberg and Mannheim. The eCitaros are fitted with the new ISO 15118 standard combi-2 charging plug and the charging unit has an output of up to 150kW.
Martin in der Beek, rnv technical managing director, adds: “For us electromobility is the quintessence in modern, environmentally-friendly and sustainable drive system technology. Our city trains have been serving the local public transportation system electrically for more than 100 years. Now, we must do the same for buses. The eCitaro will give our buses a completely new face and will literally provide for better air in the area serviced by rnv.”
And Heidelberg mayor Eckart Würzner, says: “We are delighted that the eCitaro buses have arrived. At the end of January the first electric bus service in the region – our historic city service – can go into operation. This is an important step towards emission-free local transport and a climate-smart city. We hope that production of these buses will now really take off.”