The Wiener Linien transport company has ordered 60 Mercedes-Benz eCitaro electric buses to run in the bustling metropolis of Vienna. This purchase will help the Austrian city to reduce its local emissions with low-floor buses that produce zero emissions, with deliveries starting next year through 2025.
Wiener Linien plans to convert 9 of its more than 100 routes into operation with the all-electric eCitaro buses by the end of 2025. The all-electric Mercedes-Benz eCitaro buses are 12 meters long, and come with the latest generation of lithium-ion batteries (NMC 3).
The lithium-ion batteries have a capacity of 392 kWh each, which offers an extended long operating range. Current collectors (technical term: pantograph) also enable rapid charging at up to 300 kW, which increases the range and operating times.
To ensure the buses were up to the challenge, Wiener Linien conducted a pilot project in June 2021 allowing passengers to use the all-electric Mercedes-Benz eCitaro G bus free of charge for two weeks during practice runs on three routes.
The transition to environmentally friendly all-electric buses also requires the development of infrastructure adapted to technical and operational requirements. In order to address this, Wiener Linien will build a new e-competence center in its former bus parking lot at Siebenhirten in the south of the Austrian capital by the end of 2023. The new e-competence center will be able to accommodate around 50 e-buses that will be charged, maintained, and repaired there. They are also including a photovoltaic system on the roof that will supply electricity, and the waste heat from the chargers will be used to heat the workshop building.
The e-competence center in Vienna’s Spetterbrücke will be equipped with charging infrastructure, and three rapid charging stations will be constructed along the routes. They plan to use some of the existing substations for the streetcar and subway networks to supply the charging stations with energy. Currently, Wiener Linien obtains 100% of its electricity from renewable energy sources.
Wiener Linien is a subsidiary of Wiener Stadtwerke GmbH and builds and operates the subway, bus, and streetcar networks in the Austrian capital. Wiener Linien is responsible for helping nearly two million passengers reach their destinations quickly, safely, and comfortably every day. With 127 bus routes with a combined route length of around 850 kilometers, Wiener Linien makes 4230 stops a day.
Climate Protection Minister Leonore Gewessler: “With this new funding scheme, we will massively increase the proportion of emission-free buses in the next few years. By 2026 we even want to quadruple the proportion. To this end, the federal government is investing in regional climate-protecting bus transport for the first time. That’s good and important – because emission-free buses make an important contribution to our phase-out of fossil raw materials. One thing is clear: Only if we switch to renewable energies and reduce our consumption overall can we get the current energy crisis under control and also effectively counteract the climate crisis.”
Wiener Linien recently completed the renewal of the bus fleet comprising around 400 vehicles at the end of 2019. Between 2014 and 2020 it reduced the energy consumption of its bus fleet by a good third while expanding the range of service by 6% during this time.
Gudrun Senk, Managing Director of Wiener Linien: “We tested various buses and prepared intensively for the switch to zero-emission drives. Because we have high standards: we want to reduce emissions while maintaining the quality of our offering. The eCitaro 70 E buses will cover more than 13 million kilometers during the first five years of operation and thus save around 12,000 tons of CO2.”
Source: Daimler Truck
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