Unlike an internal-combustion engine, an electric motor can be located almost anywhere in the vehicle. Mercedes-Benz opted for a compact design - the tried-and-tested ZF AVE 130 drive axle with motors placed close to the wheel hubs, a design that has already been applied in other Citaro variants. In this electro-portal axle design, a water-cooled asynchronous motor is situated close to each wheel. The axle has an output of 125 kW. Torque from a standing start is thus 2 x 485 Nm, and thanks to the reduction ratio, at the wheels themselves a torque of around 2 x 11.000 Nm is applied. The installation space that has become free due to the absence of internal-combustion engine and transmission is used to accommodate the battery modules.
In order to save energy, the eCitaro features an acceleration control system: both the solo bus and the articulated bus always accelerate under full load with identical dynamics from the bus stop or from traffic lights. It makes no difference if the city bus is empty or full.