The integrated eMobility system: Far more than just a city bus: the all-electric Mercedes-Benz Citaro as a key element of eMobility

  • The challenge of electric mobility: rethinking urban bus travel
  • eMobility Consulting: detailed practical advice for transport operators
  • Omniplus Service: new concepts for the challenges of high-voltage technology 

The new all-electric Mercedes-Benz Citaro is far more than just a city bus: it is a key part of Daimler Buses' integrated eMobility system. This encompasses the pre-purchase advisory service eMobility Consulting, including an in-depth analysis of the transport operating company and its various routes. Omniplus Service offers companies tailor-made service concepts designed for electric mobility, right through to services provided in the customer's own workshop.

The challenge of electric mobility: rethinking urban bus travel

Electric mobility presents a challenge, as experienced by buyers of private passenger cars thinking about their route to work or their plans for a weekend outing. And it is one that is all the more tricky for transport operators, who have to work with a tight and intricate nexus of route networks and timetables. In an ideal world, they would like to see a straightforward 1:1 replacement of city buses with combustion engine by fully electric-powered buses. This is, however, not normally possibly without some intervention, making meticulous preparation indispensable – electric mobility means rethinking the way buses are used for urban mobility.

Alongside the higher costs and possible subsidies for electric-powered buses, key factors when changing over to electric mobility include detailed consideration of energy consumption and the resultant range, passenger capacity, charging capacity including the energy supply source and, finally, service - from equipping the customer's workshop through to differentiated training of their staff.

eMobility Consulting: detailed practical advice for transport operators

This is where eMobility Consulting from Daimler Buses comes in. Experienced advisors begin by demonstrating to transport operators the performance capability of the all-electric Citaro, moving on to sound out the companies' hopes and expectations. In the next stage, each route is individually analysed, producing a plethora of data that ranges from the length of the route to passenger numbers and average speed. Even the outside temperature plays a role here, for the increased energy consumption required for heating and climate control means that this can have a significant impact on the range of electric city buses. A simulation programme developed in-house then calculates the energy needs.

The experts evaluate the individual scenarios and link them to one another. A series of different variants are the outcome, from a standard capture of data with a calculation of range, through to the issue of charge management and even the organisation of the bus depot. The experts' detailed knowledge of their own company's buses, their close contacts to the engineers in the development area and their professional relationship, based on trust, with the transport operators prove advantageous here – and result in a unique level of expertise relating to buses as a transport system.

At the end of all this, the experts are able to provide precise recommendations and calculations covering the charging infrastructure, energy consumption, the load capability of the power supply at the depot and charge management. The recommendations go into very practically relevant detail and might, for example, suggest split services or opportunity charging at the depot as an alternative to the use of external charging stations in cases where daily mileages are high. 

Omniplus Service: new concepts for the challenges of high-voltage technology

Service, maintenance and repair are also significantly different with electric mobility. Tasks relating to the combustion engine and automatic transmission are no longer relevant; the focus now is on high-voltage technology.

The 'Omniplus' service brand of Daimler Buses has therefore prepared a special eMobility service concept. Transport operators can select appropriate modules from within this to suit their individual needs. Options range from the classic supervision of the customer's workshop through to workshop services allied to service contracts, completed in Daimler-based competence centres and, at the top end of the scale, BusDepot Management: in this case Omniplus employees undertake a defined scope of work, which may extend to full all-round service management of the vehicles, directly at the customer's workshop. This approach has already been proven to work effectively at several locations across Europe.