It is not surprising that Darmstadt, as Hesse’s city of science, wants to make its local public transport emission-free as soon as possible. Darmstadt has developed to become one of Germany’s top future-oriented cities. And in the process, the shrewd city development office is relying on a modern, environmentally friendly local public transportation service.
HEAG mobilo, a transport operator in Darmstadt, is planning to replace almost its entire bus fleet with vehicles that are 100 percent electrically driven in the next four years. This week, 24 fully-electric Mercedes-Benz eCitaro city buses officially began operations. This marks the first huge step towards this goal.
The battery technology of the 24 eCitaro – eleven solo and 13 articulated buses – is based on the second-generation nickel manganese cobalt cells (NMC). The advantage here is that they are suitable for both depot and high-performance charging.
All of the electric buses are fitted with all the very best safety equipment Daimler Buses has to offer. This includes Sideguard Assist which assists the driver when turning and the new Preventive Brake Assist which is the first active braking assistance system for city buses in the world. The driver cockpit also provides preventive protection: a driver’s cab with a large pane of safety glass protects the driver from viral infections and violence.
The air in the bus is kept clean using active filters with an anti-viral function. Video monitoring is another safety system on-board. In the articulated buses six cameras monitor the bus interior while the solo vehicles are fitted with four cameras.
HEAG mobilo plans to have replaced the present fleet of around 80 vehicles with electrically operated vehicles by 2025. This launch represents around 36 percent of those. In June 2020 HEAG mobilo began its electromobility campaign with five eCitaro. Once all the diesel buses have been replaced by their electrically driven counterparts, the transport company has calculated that it will save approximately 2.5 million litres of diesel fuel annually and thus avoid around 6,600 tonnes of CO2.
With more than 700 employees, HEAG mobilo operates scheduled bus routes in Darmstadt as well as in the districts of Darmstadt-Dieburg and Groß-Gerau.