Daimler, Mercedes-Benz’s parent company, has several electric programs across its brands, including several for its commercial vehicles, like buses. One of these programs is the Mercedes‑Benz eCitaro electric bus and the German automaker announced the first delivery today.

The electric version of Mercedes-Benz’s best-selling Citaro bus was unveiled earlier this year.

Today, the company announced the first delivery of the electric bus to Hamburger Hochbahn AG, the German city’s public transport company.

Hamburger Hochbahn AG, which operates around 1000 buses on 111 lines in Hamburg, placed an order for 20 eCitaro buses and it says that it “intends to purchase nothing but emission-free buses” starting in 2020.

Till Oberwörder, Head of Daimler Buses, handed over the first Mercedes-Benz eCitaro to Henrik Falk, the Chairman of the Board at Hamburger Hochbahn AG in the presence of Dr. Peter Tschentscher, Mayor of Hamburg.

Till Oberwörder commented on the delivery of the first production eCitaro:

“Hamburger Hochbahn AG is one of the recognised pioneers for alternative drive systems in local public transport. In producing the new eCitaro, we have developed a well-thought-out and sophisticated urban bus concept which will make a decisive contribution towards promoting electromobility in towns and cities. We are delighted to be able to deliver the very first series production vehicle today.”

Now they are working to complete the order of 20 buses.

Mercedes‑Benz eCitaro

While the eCitaro is based on its diesel-powered predecessor, Daimler says that it made several upgrades:

“The roof-mounted equipment of the eCitaro is hidden behind an elegant roof-edge ridge. It is made of a multi-piece extruded aluminium profile. The glossy black lower segment extends the generous glazing of the city bus. The upper segment is painted in the vehicle colour, transitions smoothly into the A0‑pillar at the front and into the corner post at the rear, and visually frames the side. These optical tricks lend the eCitaro perfect proportions and make it seem light.”

As for the powertrain, it features electric motors on two axles. The battery system is modular and split between a pack at the back on the floor of the bus and another pack on the roof at the front of the bus.

Daimler describes the battery system:

“Lithium-ion batteries with a total capacity of up to about 243 kWh provide the power. They are modular in design: the batteries are split between up to ten modules, each supplying around 25 kWh. As well as two battery modules on the vehicle roof, the standard equipment includes four modules in the rear of the bus. In the eCitaro, these are taking the place of today’s powertrain combination of combustion engine and transmission. Depending upon customer requirements, another two or four battery modules are mounted on the roof of the eCitaro.”

The bus maker is talking about a range of “150 kilometres in the summer” and “up to 250 km in ideal conditions.” That’s 93 to 155 miles.

It is equipped with a CCS plug for fast-charging – thought they haven’t confirmed the charge rate.

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