Mercedes-Benz's first electric bus is now ready to hit the streets in the city of Hamburg, Germany. Parent company Daimler announced Thursday the first of 20 Mercedes eCitaro buses was handed over to Hochbahn, a public transport company in the city.
The eCitaro made its debut in September and features a total battery capacity of 243 kilowatt-hours that powers two electric motors. The bus can carry a payload of about seven tons, or roughly 88 passengers at once, and achieve an electric range of 155 miles in ideal driving conditions. Most of the time, Daimler said the bus will easily achieve 93 miles of range, however.
After service, the eCitaro will be juiced up at the bus depot before it's ready to roll once again. Daimler added the current eCitaro covers about 30 percent of transport operators requirements. A second-generation eCitaro will cover 50 percent.
Hochbahn has already ordered 20 eCitaro buses from Daimler, and by 2020 it plans to exclusively purchase emission-free buses. The transport provider currently operates 1,000 buses on 11 lines in Germany. Naturally, Daimler wants to cement itself as a front-runner. The Citaro is a best-selling bus from Mercedes-Benz, and it's a common site across Europe and other regions. The brand also sells the regular Citaro, Citaro hybrid, and Citaro NGT with a gasoline engine.
Further, Mercedes-Benz will introduce a fuel cell extender in the future to forego the need for "opportunity charging." The brand has great experience with fuel cells and recently delivered the first GLC F-Cell fuel cell hydrogen-electric hybrid. Daimler has also launched its electric trucks from the Freightliner brand.
And the eCitaro is one of many ways Daimler hopes to expand its mobility outreach. The automaker and the city of Hamburg previously signed a memorandum of understanding to implement "electromobility" solutions in various forms through 2020.