The Austrian metropolis of Vienna is now an even better place to live: The Wiener Linien transport company has ordered 60 Mercedes-Benz eCitaro vehicles. Low-floor buses with zero local emissions will be delivered from next year until 2025.
By the end of 2025, Wiener Linien will convert nine of its more than 100 routes to operation with the all-electric eCitaro. The approximately twelve-meter long solo vehicles are truly impressive with their latest generation of lithium-ion batteries (NMC 3). The battery capacity of 392 kWh each ensures a long operating range. Current collectors (technical term: pantograph) also enable rapid charging at up to 300 kW and in this way increase the range and operating times.
Extensive tests were conducted before the order was placed. For example, as early as June 2021, passengers were able to use the all-electric Mercedes-Benz eCitaro G articulated bus free of charge for two weeks during practice runs on three routes.
Changing to environmentally friendly propulsion technologies also requires the development of infrastructure adapted to technical and operational requirements. The Wiener Linien will build a new e-competence center in its former bus parking lot at Siebenhirten in the south of the Austrian capital by the end of 2023. This shall accommodate around 50 e-buses. The buses will be charged, maintained and repaired there. For example, a photovoltaic system on the roof will supply electricity and the waste heat from the chargers will be used to heat the workshop building.
The bus workshop in Vienna’s Spetterbrücke will also be equipped with charging infrastructure, and three rapid charging stations will be constructed along the routes. Existing substations for the streetcar and subway networks shall also be used to supply the charging stations with energy. Wiener Linien obtains 100 percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources.
In a related news, the Danish bus company Vikingbus has ordered 31 Mercedes-Benz eCitaro all-electric vehicles. In future, they will mainly be used in Køge, a harbor town south of the Danish capital Copenhagen in the east of the island of Sjӕlland. The task is extremely demanding: The regular service also includes trips to the municipality of Stevn, which is further south. This is the longest city bus line in Denmark, resulting in some trips longer than 500 kilometers a day – very rare for a city bus, and virtually impossible for an electric city bus up to now.
Vikingbus is one of the leading bus companies in Denmark with around 450 city buses, intercity buses and touring coaches as well as 13 bases throughout the country. The private company is based on a merger of 17 companies and is fully Danish owned. It offers a wide range of transport and services, including ambulance transport in Denmark and beyond.