Following successful practical trials in December 2009, Stuttgarter Straßenbahnen AG (SSB) has now brought three Mercedes-Benz Citaro G BlueTec Hybrid buses (earlier post) into service, with a further two vehicles due to be delivered later this year.
The Citaro series hybrid uses a 160 kW, 4.8-liter diesel engine (downsized from the usual 12-liter engine) as the genset to provide power for a lithium-ion battery pack located on the roof. The Citaro hybrid will use four electric wheel hub motors on the center and rear axles of the vehicle, with total output of 320 kW.
The energy storage unit in the new Mercedes-Benz Citaro G BlueTec Hybrid is a lithium-ion battery with maximum output of 240 kW.
The Citaro G BlueTec Hybrid can travel for stretches solely on electric power without using its diesel engine, approaching bus stops without making hardly any noise. After stopping, it continues in a similar fashion at several more stops along its route.
The articulated 18-meter bus can accommodate around 134 people, with 48 seats arranged in the familiar bus operator configuration.
I expect ten to 15 percent of new orders for city buses to be made up of such hybrid drives by the year 2015. As always, SSB is leading the way in this area.—Hartmut Schick, head of Daimler Buses