Minor improvements. Major difference.
Omnibus Magazine

Minor improvements. Major difference.

The performance package makes the eCitaro even more efficient.

Mercedes-Benz has bulked up its all-electric city bus. The result is the eCitaro performance package. What it can do, what's new – in brief.

eCitaro technology hasn't stood still since its world premiere in 2018. There have not just been spectacular advances in battery technology. The eCitaro is constantly making advances to customers' benefit. A recent example is the eCitaro performance package, which makes the electric bus even more robust.

The all-electric eCitaro already features three CCS plug charging positions with a charging power of up to 150 kilowatts, which, together with the new generation NMC3 battery, extends the range even further. An extra connector position at the front of the vehicle is in the pipeline. Another new feature is the ability to charge two eCitaro buses sequentially, i.e. one after the other, at a single charger with two charging points. This avoids charging peaks, saves on infrastructure costs and still gives operators the operational flexibility they need.

For charging along the route or at the depot, the eCitaro can optionally be fitted with a pantograph or charging rails. The pantograph is an on-board current collector, whereas the charging rails have an infrastructural pantograph lowered from above. These charging options are already available and offer maximum charging powers of up to 300 kilowatts. There is a new extra positioning option with which the pantograph or charging rail contact takes place centrally over the front axle. The charging rails can optionally also be fitted with an RFID tag to ensure unique vehicle identification when charging at the depot.

Minor improvements. Major difference. – The performance package makes the eCitaro even more efficient.

Efficiency is one of the biggest catchwords for electric buses. That’s why the eCitaro air conditioning system was equipped from the outset with state-of-the-art CO2 air conditioning and combined with advanced thermal management, which extends the range of the vehicle.

But not every customer needs such a sophisticated and complex system. The EvoThermatik HP Basic air conditioning system for use in Central European temperature conditions and the EvoThermatik HP High Comfort for use in hot countries are therefore available on customer request. Both air conditioning systems run with the tried and tested R134a refrigerant.

This system includes the option of “preconditioning” the vehicle when charging while still at the depot, i.e. preheating or cooling to a preset temperature before setting off so as to reduce the subsequent bus battery use. This useful function, which can also be activated by telematics from outside the vehicle using the OMNIplus ON Portal, is now possible even without a direct connection to the CCS charger at the depot.

This is particularly useful when the bus arrives at the depot with a high state of charge or when planning to charge the vehicle en route. It is then not necessary to needlessly occupy a charging station just to put a vehicle on the road in preconditioned state.

Extra customer benefits are also coming into series production. For instance, the optional “EcoMode” door control reduces the significant energy loss at the bus stop: either situation-based opening of only one door leaf is implemented or an automatic door solution enabled as required by the driver is used. This prevents pointlessly losing large quantities of conditioned interior air without reason.

In terms of total capacity, a variety of weight reduction measures have been implemented. The rear door versions (3-door solo bus, 4-door articulated bus) can also optionally be fitted with a new support area on the rear wall to improve weight distribution in the rear section by adding more standing room. The total capacity can thus be increased by up to 4 persons, depending on the vehicle configuration.

In a nutshell: even smart vehicles offer scope for improvements – as highlighted by numerous aspects of the Mercedes-Benz eCitaro performance package.

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