Hamburg drives electrically: Rüdiger Kappel, Head of Fleet Sales for Daimler Buses Germany, today handed over 16 fully electric Mercedes-Benz eCitaro buses to Toralf Müller and Nora Wolters, Managing Directors at Verkehrsbetriebe Hamburg-Holstein GmbH (VHH). VHH has around 2100 employees and 667 buses at 12 locations and is thus the second-biggest public transport company in northern Germany. The company is based in Hamburg and transports 106.6 million passengers every year. VHH operates within the Hamburg Verkehrsverbund (HVV) transport association where it runs 160 lines in the Hamburg metropolitan region. From this year, VHH will be procuring only locally emission-free buses for use in Hamburg's city centre areas.
The eCitaro buses bear a conspicuous livery: "elexity – Hamburg drives electrically". Under the elexity brand, VHH combines all aspects of sustainable mobility – with everything from the infrastructure at their depots to specially trained personnel and even vehicles which run entirely on green power. What's more, all of the electric buses at VHH also bear a name beginning with the letter "E". The first 16 names, which include Emil, Edith and Elton, were chosen by employees of the transport company. During the handover, VHH invited its passengers to take part in a naming competition for further electric buses.
The equipment of the eCitaro is especially impressive. They feature glazed side wall segments in the area of the standing-only platform, three double-width doors, USB charging ports for smartphones, an eye-catching seat upholstery design and wood-look floor covering. Plus, twelve battery packs with a total capacity of 292 kWh ensure a suitable vehicle range. Equally exemplary is the safety equipment on-board with such features as the Electronic Stability Program ESP, the active braking assistance system Preventive Brake Assist and the turning assistant Sideguard Assist.
The 16 eCitaro vehicles will soon be getting some company: Verkehrsbetriebe Hamburg-Holstein (VHH) has ordered a further four eCitaro solo buses as well as 17 articulated eCitaro G buses. These buses are also expected to be delivered by the end of this year.