Daimler Buses to offer CO2-neutral vehicles in all segments by 2030

By Becky Schultz10 May 2022

Daimler Buses announced plans to offer locally CO2-neutral vehicles based on batteries and hydrogen in every segment by 2030, with an initial focus on the core markets of Europe and Latin America. It intends to launch the first all-electric inter-city bus in 2025 and coach buses with hydrogen-based fuel cell drive by the end of the decade.

Photo: Daimler Buses

This dual-track strategy is in line with a strategy outlined by parent company Daimler Truck, and was developed to ensure the division is able to offer tailored zero-emissions solutions for its diverse customer base. The company will offer locally CO2-neutral powertrains for its product segments in key markets such as Europe, rather than pursue emissions reduction technology to meet proposed Euro VII requirements for internal combustion engines. By 2030, only locally CO2-neutral city buses will be sold by Daimler Buses in Europe; this will expand to all new vehicles sold by the company in the region by 2039. 

“As a worldwide leading bus manufacturer, our ambition is clear: We want to make a contribution to contending climate change and be a driver of the change in transportation that is needed to achieve this. To this end, we are pursuing a clear electrification strategy and putting buses with alternative drive technologies on the road in series production,” said Till Oberwörder, head of Daimler Buses, during an event held at the company’s Mannheim, Germany site. “We are focusing our development efforts entirely on the zero-emission and fully electrically powered eCitaro.”

Starting in 2023, Daimler Buses will equip its previously purely battery-electric Mercedes-Benz eCitaro city bus, which has been in series production since 2018, with a hydrogen-based fuel cell as a range extender, enabling a range of up to 400 km (solo bus). The battery will continue to be the main energy source, with the fuel cell serving solely to extend range. 

Photo: Daimler Buses

Starting at the end of 2022, the eCitaro will also be offered with a new generation of high-performance batteries. According to the company, the high-energy lithium-ion batteries increase the capacity per battery cell by around 50% for the same weight and enable reliable ranges of around 280 km (solo bus). The batteries will be used in the eCitaro, the eCitaro Range Extender and the recently launched all-electric chassis eO500U.

Production of the eO500U, the first purely battery-electric bus chassis from Daimler Buses for Latin America and markets in the Oceania region, will begin this year. Based largely on the eCitaro and specially adapted to local requirements, the eO500U chassis has a range of around 250 km and will be manufactured at the São Bernardo do Campo site in Brazil. Daimler Buses has already taken 100 orders for the chassis in Brazil, with delivery scheduled for between the end of 2022 and the beginning of 2023.

As a turnkey solutions provider, Daimler Buses further announced it is expanding its service offerings as a general contractor for customers’ complete electric infrastructure.

Photo: Daimler Buses

“We supply our customers with electric mobility on a ‘turnkey’ basis, which means they get from us all the modules they need for a functioning electric bus service: We supply the buses, we plan the necessary infrastructure as well as the charging management, we manage the conversion of the depot and we train the staff,” said Oberwörder. “Our goal is for electro mobility to become an everyday reality in the bus business.”

This goal includes a target for every second city bus to be electrified by 2030. “To achieve our climate goals, we need more zero-emission vehicles. We actively support public transport companies to decarbonize their fleets and provide them with the corresponding infrastructure,” said Dr. Volker Wissing, Federal Minster for Digital and Transport. “We have earmarked a total of 1.25 billion Euro ($1.32 billion USD) for this purpose.”

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