Daimler Buses showcases eCitaro and digital services at the 14th VDV Electric Bus Conference in Berlin

  • eCitaro and related services in the center of attention at “Elekbu” conference, organized by the Association of German Transport Companies (VDV)
  • New battery technology generation with higher energy density provides more range with lower dead weight
  • Omniplus On Uptime pro digital service offered specifically for transport companies with their own workshop

Leinfelden-Echterdingen / Mannheim / Berlin – At the 14th Electric Bus Conference, organized by the Association of German Transport Companies (VDV) on 27/28 March in Berlin, bus and touring coach manufacturer Daimler Buses will present comprehensive, sustainable electromobility solutions for today and tomorrow. This annual event is considered an important meeting place for industry experts from transport companies all over Germany to learn about and discuss the latest developments and electromobility solutions.

This year, Daimler Buses will once again be exhibiting the Mercedes-Benz eCitaro electric city bus – by far the best-selling electric bus in Germany – at the combined trade fair and symposium, known as “Elekbu”. Visitors to the Daimler Buses booth in Convention Hall II at the Estrel Hotel Berlin can also learn about the advantages of the latest generation of NMC 3 batteries for the eCitaro as well as the Omniplus On Uptime pro digital service, which was specifically developed for the requirements of transport companies with their own workshop. On March 27 at 2:00 p.m., Nils Richert, expert for e-mobility and charging infrastructure at EvoBus, will give a presentation covering “Turnkey solutions in electromobility”.

Mercedes-Benz eCitaro improves CO2 balance

The Daimler Buses stand at the Berlin Electric Bus Conference will once again focus on the Mercedes-Benz eCitaro, the most successful model amongst electric buses. Last year alone, almost 300 new eCitaro vehicles were registered in Germany – almost half of all newly registered electric buses over eight tons. Almost 700 eCitaro vehicles are currently being operated by German transport companies, with almost a quarter of these being articulated buses.

The two-door solo bus on exhibit is equipped with Preventive Brake Assist, the world’s first active brake assistant for city buses, and Sideguard Assist, a system that detects critical situations when turning. Eco Driver Feedback (EDF) driving style assistant helps drivers achieve an efficient driving style by showing corresponding information on the display.

New, more powerful batteries for the Mercedes-Benz eCitaro

While the Mercedes-Benz eCitaro shown at the “Elekbu” is equipped with second-generation nickel-manganese-cobalt batteries (NMC 2) with a total capacity of 387 kWh, the third-generation NMC 3 battery is even more powerful and already ready to hit the road. The eCitaro has been available to order with these new high‑performance batteries since the end of 2022. German customers have already ordered around 200 eCitaro with NMC 3 batteries, including cities like Nuremberg, Hamburg, and Münster. The Daimler Buses stand will provide interested visitors with detailed information on the features and benefits of the new lithium-ion batteries. These batteries have an improved cell chemistry and an optimized battery package, resulting in a significant increase in energy density. In the eCitaro solo bus, this means a maximum capacity of 588 kWh, and in the articulated bus as high as 686 kWh. Under average conditions, this results in a dependable range of 280 kilometers for the solo bus and 220 kilometers for the articulated bus throughout the battery’s entire service life. In favorable conditions, the solo bus boasts a range of well over 300 kilometers. This means that the buses cover the majority of requirements in terms of city buses’ daily driving performance.

Thanks to its high energy capacity, the eCitaro with new generation batteries is also ideally suited for long routes and subsequent socket charging at the depot. In this process, charging capacities of up to 150 kW are possible. In addition to a high energy density, the most recent generation of batteries also demonstrates an impressively long service life. Manufacturer Akasol assumes 4,000 charging cycles, depending on factors like the depth of discharge and usage profiles. With daily use and subsequent charging at the depot, this would correspond to a service life of up to ten years.

Omniplus On Uptime pro: Improved vehicle availability for bus fleets

In addition to bus hardware, Daimler Buses will be showcasing its Omniplus digital services at the Electric Bus Conference in Berlin. The Omniplus On Uptime pro service is aimed specifically at transport companies with their own workshop. This digital solution provides both fleet management and the workshop with important diagnostic information in real time. Omniplus On Uptime pro permanently monitors all relevant vehicle systems in Mercedes-Benz and Setra buses and touring coaches. All models since 2018 can be integrated into Omniplus On Uptime pro.

The Omniplus On Uptime pro service provides the company’s workshop with detailed diagnostic data in addition to viewable data and analyses, which thus helps the workshop prepare for upcoming work, bundle repairs and maintenance, and optimize servicing times. In the web-based Omniplus On Portal, the workshop has access to a full remote diagnosis with all active and stored faults as well as freeze frame data, without having to physically connect to the vehicle’s diagnostic device as before. In addition, dispatchers have access to real-time information related to every message on the driver’s display and to critical status values in the respective vehicle – meaning there are no misunderstandings between drivers and dispatchers.

Transport companies are kept informed about the condition of all vehicles at all times

The uncluttered display in the Omniplus On Portal prioritizes analysis data for the entire fleet sorted by urgency and contains concrete recommendations for action. On the one hand, this helps avoid the need for complex, costly vehicle replacement during ongoing operation in the event of non-critical malfunctions. On the other hand, this system can also prevent consequential damage and reduce the extent of damage. In addition, workshop personnel can use the remote query for fault detection and shorten servicing times. In the event of a fault message, there is no longer any need to travel to the vehicle and perform a manual diagnosis.

Bus and touring coach diagnostic experts and experienced software specialists from Daimler Buses have developed Omniplus On Uptime pro in close cooperation with large transport companies like Hamburger Hochbahn. Uptime pro is continuously optimized thanks to extensive field tests. Omniplus On data package digital interfaces allow transport companies to import data from Uptime pro to their own systems and use this data as they see fit.

Improved consumption overview on Omniplus On monitor

Omniplus On monitor, the digital service for monitoring and optimizing consumption values, offers enhanced options for optimizing bus and touring coach fleet profitability and sustainability. The latest version can do more than record and analyze the consumption of buses and touring coaches with combustion engines. Omniplus ON monitor can now also precisely evaluate the eCitaro’s energy consumption and display this in the online portal. This analysis takes into account the energy taken from the batteries as well as the recuperated energy, i.e. energy recovered when braking or coasting downhill.

Omniplus has also added important new functions to the On monitor. For all drive types, consumption can now be evaluated separately according to traction and auxiliary consumers, like the heating or air-conditioning system. This allows for a better comparison of individual vehicles and, if required, the introduction of suitable measures to reduce energy consumption, e.g. targeted driver training. Another helpful tool on the Omniplus On monitor is the logbook function. This means that all vehicle data, including consumption, can be allocated by time as well as route. These analyses provide a quick overview of fleet status at all times and can also serve as the basis for further optimization, e.g. future line management or timetable preparation.

Omniplus experts will be demonstrating Omniplus On Uptime pro, Omniplus On monitor, and additional digital services to interested transport companies at the Daimler Buses booth during the 14th Electric Bus Conference in Berlin.