A panel of international experts has chosen the Mercedes Benz eCitaro as the 2023 Electric Bus Champion

  • eCitaro beats competitor models in a comparison test
  • Modern, economical, comfortable, driver and service-friendly electric bus
  • eCitaro with new NMC 3 high-performance batteries
  • Cockpit and operating concept is identical to the conventionally powered Citaro
  • Particularly high safety standard another plus point of the eCitaro

Leinfelden-Echterdingen / Barcelona – The Mercedes-Benz eCitaro is the 2023 Electric Bus Champion. In this year’s electric bus comparison test, organised by Omnibusspiegel bus magazine, the current low-floor bus version featuring highly-efficient NMC°3 batteries bearing the three-pointed star came out on top against five rivals. For four days, around 20 specialist journalists and an equal number of representatives from transport companies had the opportunity to put current electric buses in the 12-meter segment through their paces at the now fifth edition of the renowned electric bus comparison test at the end of April in Bonn. As well as test drives on a demanding test circuit near Bonn, part of testers’ remit was to also ride along as passengers. Experienced service technicians also scrutinised each bus in a workshop check and evaluated how easy it was to service and repair them. Following extensive trips, testers awarded points for passenger comfort, driver vehicle handling, workmanship, and the how easy the vehicles were to service. The Mercedes-Benz eCitaro scored the most points. It was the first time that the electric bus champion was selected in the electric bus comparison test on the basis of the evaluation.

Modern, economical, comfortable, driver and service-friendly electric bus

“We are very pleased that the Mercedes-Benz eCitaro was able to hold its own amongst such strong competition, and is the first electric bus ever to receive the Electro Bus Champion award”, says Till Oberwörder, CEO of Daimler Buses. “This victory confirms that we have succeeded with the eCitaro in creating a modern, economical, comfortable, driver and service-friendly electric bus with an independent design, which is also embedded in a comprehensive e-mobility concept, based on the proven Citaro. We see this award as a commitment to the continuous development of the eCitaro so that our customers can continue to benefit from the latest in battery technology and the best safety and comfort features.”

eCitaro with new NMC°3 high-performance batteries

The Mercedes-Benz eCitaro, even in its current version with third-generation lithium-ion batteries (NMC°3), represents the highest level of city bus electromobility. It combines the tried-and-tested Citaro platform with a modular battery, charging and drive technology, and unrivalled safety standards. The eCitaro has been available with the latest NMC 3 batteries since the end of 2022. Behind the acronym NMC°3 is a new generation of high-performance batteries. Their greatest advantage is their enormous capacity, which allows the vehicle to cover long distances without opportunity charging. The improved cell chemistry, combined with its optimised battery pack, leads to a considerable increase in capacity by around 50°percent at the same weight. The new battery generation already meets ECE R 100-3 safety requirements which will not come into force until autumn 2023. As has been customary from the start with the eCitaro, different configurations of equipment are possible both for the solo bus and for the articulated bus eCitaro G. The eCitaro solo bus is available with a minimum of four and a maximum of six battery packs with a total capacity of up to 588°kWh. The eCitaro G articulated bus is equipped with a minimum of four, and a maximum of seven battery packs and a total capacity of up to 686°kWh.

Cockpit and operating concept identical to the conventionally powered Citaro

The layout of the eCitaro passenger compartment is identical to that in the Citaro. Just as the passengers don’t have to adapt, neither does the driver of the eCitaro. The almost identical controls compared with the Citaro with combustion engine allows for quicker driver changes. The eCitaro also supports its driver in energy-saving driving with an acceleration control: when pulling away from the bus stop or traffic lights, whether empty or under full load, torque is reduced to a comfortable level. This leads to a gentle, passenger-friendly driving style whilst reducing energy consumption. Generally speaking, driving properties are optimised for maximum efficiency, without the driver having to pay attention to major differences compared with the Citaro with combustion engine. For example, in the basic setting, the bus coasts in an energy-efficient manner when the driver takes their foot off the accelerator pedal.

eCitaro offers unrivalled safety

Safety is always a top priority in Mercedes-Benz buses. For example, the test bus in the electric bus comparison test was equipped with the new 360° camera system. It provides crucial assistance to drivers when precise manoeuvring is required, at the depot, in the garage, or along narrow sections of a route. Active Brake Assist, Sideguard Assist and the tyre pressure monitoring system are almost taken for granted. Safety and support for the driver also mean the Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System as well as the engageable speed limit of 33 km/h – a significant relief when driving in speed-restricted areas.