Despite the Obama administration gutting funding for hydrogen and fuel cells, Daimler is not yet ready to quit the game. Next month at the UITP Congress in Vienna (the World Congress of the International Association of Public Transport) Mercedes-Benz will debut its next generation Citaro FuelCELL hybrid bus. Daimler has been working on fuel cell buses since 1997 and the new buses will be deployed into test fleets across Europe beginning this fall.
Previous generations of Mercedes' fuel cell buses have accumulated more than 1.2 million miles and 135,000 hours of service in field testing. The new bus incorporates technology from the recently introduced Citaro G BlueTec hybrid bus and uses a series hybrid configuration with hub motors and a lithium ion battery. The hybrid powertrain, which relies more on the battery for transient power requirements allowing the fuel cell to run at constant output, cuts fuel consumption by 10-25 percent.
World premiere at International Association of Public Transport's World Congress in Vienna: Mercedes-Benz Citaro FuelCELL Hybrid bus
* Emission-free, whisper-quiet urban transport solution which also helps conserve resources
* Linear development from NEBUS to the Citaro FuelCELL Hybrid
* Components from the Citaro G BlueTec Hybrid
The new Mercedes-Benz Citaro FuelCELL Hybrid bus will have its world premiere from 7 to 11 June at the UITP Congress in Vienna (the World Congress of the International Association of Public Transport). This fuel cell hybrid bus has been developed within the context of the global "Shaping Future Transportation" initiative and is the first representative of the new generation of fuel cell models from Daimler Buses. The outstanding characteristic of the Citaro FuelCELL Hybrid is its comprehensive environmental friendliness: it emits no pollutants whatsoever while running and is also virtually silent. It is therefore exceptionally well suited to operation in heavily polluted city centres and in metropolitan areas. The Citaro FuelCELL Hybrid is the next logical step on the path to zero-emission public transport, which Daimler had already announced it would take, and thus represents an important element in the development of the mobility solutions of the future.
Linear development from NEBUS to the Citaro FuelCELL Hybrid
Daimler Buses has taken a linear approach to developing this technology: the process started in 1997 with the NEBUS research vehicle – the world's first bus to be equipped with a fuel cell drive system – and has continued via the recently launched Citaro G BlueTec Hybrid with a diesel-electric hybrid drive. The latest development for 2009 is the new Citaro FuelCELL Hybrid. Starting in the autumn, Mercedes-Benz Buses will subject this bus to intensive testing in a large-scale fleet test in several European cities. This test will be conducted along the same lines as the successful CUTE test carried out by the European Union between 2003 and 2006. Since 2003, a total of 36 Mercedes-Benz Citaro buses equipped with fuel cell drives have performed outstandingly well in service with 12 public transport operators on three continents as part of the CUTE test, its HyFLEET:CUTE follow-up project and other related testing programmes. In covering a combined total of more than two million kilometres in some 135,000 hours of operation, the buses have impressively demonstrated the suitability of the environment-friendly fuel cell drive for everyday practical use.
Components from the Citaro G BlueTec Hybrid
The new Mercedes-Benz Citaro FuelCELL Hybrid draws on the experience gained with the outstanding performance of the 36 fuel cell test buses. The enhanced fuel-cell system is complemented by an all-new drive system developed in synergy with the Citaro G BlueTec Hybrid. Shared components here include axles fitted with electric hub motors, lithium-ion batteries to store energy, and all electrically powered ancillary components. The entire drive system is designed for the greatest possible efficiency. Thanks to regenerative braking – that is to say, the recovery of braking energy – the Citaro FuelCELL Hybrid is able to achieve hydrogen savings of between 10 and 25 percent, depending on the traffic conditions and topography.
The Citaro FuelCELL Hybrid is based on the proven platform of the top-selling Mercedes-Benz Citaro urban bus and features fuel cells powered by hydrogen. Compared with previous fuel cell buses, the Citaro FuelCELL Hybrid will consume much less hydrogen thanks to a hybrid drive with a sophisticated control unit. The model thus offers major benefits in terms of resource conservation and reduction of emissions associated with producing the required hydrogen.