CASE STUDY: They are living proof of the innovative power of medium-sized bus companies, as well as of the versatility and steadfastness of the Mercedes-Benz eCitaro: two fully electric urban buses have covered a combined 200,000 kilometres within the space of exactly one year of tough regular-service operations.
The Egenberger bus company from Thierhaupten near Augsburg has saved more than 100 tonnes of CO2 emissions by using the two eCitaro buses on the 506e line of the Augsburger Verkehrs- und Tarifverbund (AVV) public transport network.
Intensive operations: the two eCitaro buses at the Egenberger bus company
Mirko Sgodda, Head of Sales, Marketing and Customer Services at Daimler Buses: “Together with our long-term customer and partner Egenberger, we are extremely pleased about the very good performance of the eCitaro, in particular as it is used on a 20-km-long regional bus route.
This represents a further major step in the changeover of public transport to eMobility.” Paul Kienberger, Managing Director and Owner of the Egenberger bus company says: “Our maxim is to provide reliable regular-service bus routes. And one thing we can rely on is the eCitaro.
“We constantly explore new approaches when it comes to actively aligning our operations with environmental concerns and the conservation of resources. The extremely modern drive system of the eCitaro as well as its efficient climate control system with heat pump are a major step in the right direction.“
The two regular-service buses don’t just sport attractive decals, but also the blue angel seal of approval for environmental protection and, since 15 July last year, have been in almost permanent operation between Zusmarshausen and Augsburg.
An unusual aspect is that the electric urban buses are used on a 20-km-long regional bus route. Its 21 bus stops include the terminus stops at Augsburg’s University Hospital with its university campus and the Zusmarshausen school centre, meaning the route enjoys high numbers of passengers.
The batteries of the buses have a capacity of 292 kWh which get charged both at the terminus stops as well as by means of intermediate charging along the route. Subsidised by the German federal government and the State of Bavaria, this project is limited in time until 2026.
The eCitaro buses are used in alternation with the Citaro hybrid. The latter not only covers the slightly longer 506 line which follows an almost identical route, but also serves as the basis for attractive comparisons. Mileage, energy consumption and CO2 emissions savings can even be called up in real time both on the Egenberger bus company’s website as well as on the site of the AVV public transport network.
Excellent comfort and safety equipment
Besides their talent as reliable endurance vehicles, the two eCitaro buses offer truly impressive safety and comfort equipment.
Coloured LED strips mark the entrance on the outside and the exit on the inside. Folding ramps at the doors facilitate access for passengers with limited mobility. Additional glazing on the sides of the vehicle underneath the beltline allows even more light than usual into the already welcoming interior.
Passengers sit on comfortable Inter Star Eco intercity seats with high backrests and leather-clad head restraints. Information is provided on three TFT monitors. And for those passengers who prefer their own entertainment, the buses are equipped with numerous USB sockets for charging mobile devices and a Wi-Fi router with Internet connection.
The Egenberger company also ensures its drivers enjoy high levels of comfort with equipment like a climate-controlled driver’s seat or a coolbox for drinks.
Greatest possible protection against infection is, for example, also ensured by the separation of the driver’s workplace from the entrance area. Further protective measures include hand sanitiser dispensers and cashless payment of tickets in the bus.
Plus, drivers benefit from additional support as the vehicles are equipped with all of the currently available assistance systems. These include the active braking assistant Preventive Brake Assist and the Sideguard Assist turning aid. To facilitate the task of driving in inner-city traffic, the vehicles feature an electronically actuated speed limiter set at 53 km/h.
Egenberger: a bustling family business with a modern fleet
The Egenberger bus company is family-run in the third generation. The company is partner to the Verkehrs- und Tarifverbund AVV (public transport association) in Augsburg and also operates tourist travel and a bus rental service.
For the most part the fleet with more than 70 buses comprises Mercedes-Benz vehicles. The touring coaches are well-known for their conspicuous paintwork. The company also values state-of-the-art technology.
This is why Egenberger has been operating the frugal, low-emission Citaro hybrid for the past three years. With this in mind, the two eCitaro buses were the next logical step in this development.