Mercedes-Benz World



Mercedes‑Benz and Setra have always been at the forefront of sustainability - the buses from both leading brands not only comply with the strictest emission standards, but in practice they also have emissions which are considerably lower than the maximum permitted levels. In turn, besides the bus companies, the environment and society ultimately benefits from the resource-conserving fuel consumption.

The independent jury for the international "busplaner" sustainability award acknowledged these efforts: The Mercedes‑Benz eCitaro, Citaro Hybrid, as well as the Setra TopClass S 531 DT double-decker bus had all been nominated for the award. All 3 buses won in their individual categories - 3 nominations which led to a triple victory.

Three nominations for buses, three victories: Axel Stokinger, Head of the German sales organisation at Daimler Buses, is delighted with the international "busplaner" sustainability award 2019 for the Mercedes-Benz eCitaro, Citaro hybrid and the Setra TopClass S 531 DT double-decker buses. f.l.t.r.: Claus Bünnagel, Chief Editor of the editor office Busplaner, Axel Stokingr, Head of the German sales organisation at Daimler Buses, Bert Brandenburg, Head of the editor office Huss Verlag.

Stuttgart, 19 March 2019

  • Three nominations, three victories: complete success for the buses from Daimler Buses
  • Mercedes-Benz eCitaro and Citaro hybrid win the city bus award
  • Setra TopClass S 531 DT is the number one touring coach

"This success affirms our commitment to the development of environmentally friendly buses," explains Axel Stokinger, Head of the German sales organisation at Daimler Buses. He accepted the awards at the award ceremony on 18 March in Berlin. Mr Stokinger continues: "The perfected aerodynamics of the Setra double-decker bus minimises fuel consumption. The Citaro is a clear demonstration of our two-pillar strategy: We have worked intensely to develop the fully-electric and in turn emissions-free eCitaro whilst at the same time optimising the combustion engine on the Citaro hybrid."

The fully electric Mercedes-Benz eCitaro brings electromobility for city buses to a whole new level. Using innovative components, available for the first time ever in the eCitaro, it achieves otherwise unheard of levels of energy efficiency thanks to its innovative thermal management and connectivity. With the introduction of the eCitaro, Daimler Buses has launched an innovation campaign for electromobility.

The Citaro hybrid is a prime example for the increase in efficiency of the combustion engine. The hybrid variant reduces the already favourable fuel consumption of the diesel engine and thus its CO2 emissions by up to 8.5 percent. The Citaro hybrid is not listed as an independent member of the best-selling Citaro city bus family; instead the hybrid drive is special equipment. It is available for a large part of the model range, even for the Citaro NGT with its natural gas drive – and as a result the Citaro hybrid earns an exceptional position worldwide. The absence of complex technology in the hybrid module is intentional. As a result, not only fuel consumption and emissions are reduced – it is the hybrid drive that pays off. Equipped with the active braking assistance system Preventive Brake Assist and Sideguard Assist, the Citaro and the eCitaro offer assistance systems that are unique over the whole world and which effectively protect more vulnerable road users in particular.

Sustainability award 2019: Mercedes-Benz eCitaro and Citaro hybrid win the city bus award.

The Setra TopClass S 531 DT double-decker sets many benchmarks in its category. Besides its fascinating looks, it impresses especially as a prime example of aerodynamics and fuel efficiency and offers the greatest levels of variability, comfort and safety. The impressive touring coach covers all types of operation required of touring and regular-service routes and, with the best values for aerodynamics, is on its way to achieving new consumption records in its segment. Its comprehensive safety equipment fitted as standard is also remarkable. Together with the Setra TopClass S 531 DT the assistance systems Active Brake Assist 4 and Sideguard Assist celebrated their world premiere in a bus.

Sustainability award 2019: The double-decker Setra TopClass S 531 DT is the number one touring coach. 

Stuttgart / Zagreb / Hanover – Thanks to its economical and consistently practical drive concept the Citaro hybrid emerged a convincing winner in this year's Bus Euro test in Zagreb, sweeping aside competition from fully-electric rivals. In particular, the international jury of experts rated the vehicle ahead of the competition by some distance in the categories covering economy, innovation, quality and user-friendliness. Special attention was drawn to the fact that the new hybrid technology is offered with the choice of either a diesel or a petrol engine for all models across an extremely wide range of urban buses. With this technology the already exceptionally economical combustion engines from Mercedes-Benz benefit from a further significant increase in efficiency. 

Together with its new "intelligent eco" electro-hydraulic steering, the Citaro hybrid further reduces the fuel consumption of the Citaro, already famed for its efficiency, by up to 8.5 percent. The objective being pursued by the buses with the new hybrid technology is clear: minimal modifications to the basic vehicle combined with achieving maximum fuel efficiency. Added to which, the Citaro hybrid is light, reasonably priced, and unproblematic for drivers and workshops alike. 

"With the Citaro hybrid we are now enabling operators to meet high environmental standards and at the same time work extremely economically. We see our hybrid technology as the natural choice for transport companies who believe in low-emission vehicles," says Till Oberwörder, Head of Daimler Buses.

The Bus of the Year jury, international trade journalists from 22 countries, voted the Mercedes-Benz Citaro hybrid Bus of the Year 2019. Chairman of the jury, Tom Terjessen (right), presented the prestigious award to Till Oberwörder, Head of Daimler Buses, at the IAA Commercial Vehicles exhibition in Hanover.

The vehicle scored well in the comparative test in the categories for economy, innovation, quality and user-friendliness.

The basic way in which the Citaro hybrid works couldn't be simpler: when the bus is decelerating, the additional electric motor acts as an alternator and transforms braking energy into electric power. This power is stored in doublelayer capacitors, commonly known as supercaps, and can be used by the electric motor to assist the combustion engine, especially when moving off. The electric motor generates a maximum output of 14 kW and 220 Nm of peak torque. The battery comprises two modules which correspond to the existing recuperation modules and are mounted on the roof to save space. 

All in all, the technology behind the hybrid concept was a major factor in the jury's assessment. For example, the bus dispenses with a complex and therefore expensive high-voltage network, instead becoming the first commercial vehicle to come with a separate 48-volt power supply, similar to that found on hybrid passenger cars from Mercedes-Benz. As a result, the installation space needed is compact, there was no need to modify the interior and no passenger seating was lost. The additional weight is only 156 kilograms. Equipped with the standard equipment, the Citaro hybrid rigid bus with a permissible gross vehicle weight of 18 t can carry up to 105 passengers and the articulated version can carry 159. Furthermore, the 48-volt system is classed as low-voltage technology and can be handled without problem. The auxiliary assemblies remain unchanged and are driven conventionally. The maintenance intervals for the Citaro hybrid are also identical, at 60 000 km or once a year; the same applies to all maintenance points on the conventional powertrain.

The international panel of judges also praised the efforts of the developers to consider the hybrid concept as an integrated system rather than a completely separate entity. The Citaro hybrid is equipped with new "intelligent eco" steering. This electro-hydraulic system only operates on demand, in other words when the driver turns the steering wheel, and therefore saves on fuel. All components are designed to last for the duration of the vehicle's service life. The hybrid drive's functionality furthermore helps to conserve the combustion engine. The use of the electric motor as a power generator has the additional effect of relieving the strain on the brakes, which can greatly extend their service life. 

The "Bus of the Year 2019" award is affirmation of Mercedes-Benz' strategy of offering its drive systems across the widest possible product range in order to give transport companies and operators maximum economic efficiency while focussing resolutely on enabling environmentally-friendly operation. This year's vote is striking proof that there is more than just one way of approaching this.