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English   15 years ago: Buses under a new umbrella: the EvoBus era begins
12.10.2010 von admin

The Citaro even operates entirely emission-free with the fuel cell drive, in which fuel cells convert the energy contained in hydrogen into electrical energy which in turn drives an electric traction motor. A large-scale test lasting two years was undertaken in ten major European cities with 30 fuel-cell-powered Citaro; another test began in Australia; in China a further practical test followed with three buses. Development of the new drive system, which already was initiated in 1997 with the NEBUS on the basis of the O 405, thus smoothly continued with the Citaro.

World's largest fuel-cell practical trials: Between 2003 and 2006, 30 buses based on the Mercedes-Benz Citaro provided local-public-transport services in major European cities; another three served routes in Australia (Perth) and China (Beijing) respectively.

As well as making it possible to install a range of drive systems, the modular design of the Citaro and the tremendous flexibility within the manufacturing process that results from this also provide the ideal basis for producing all manner of special versions. Articulated Citaro GÜ buses are being operated by Regiobus GmbH in Mittweida, Saxony as “road trains”. The buses were brought in to replace a discontinued rail link and boast a somewhat unusual specification. Passengers sit on coach-style seats which are arranged face-to-face, and on-board facilities include a bistro area, a toilet and space for carrying bicycles. At night, an ingenious illumination system trans-forms the ceiling into a canopy of stars. In Poland, a Citaro is traveling around from town to town as a mobile energy advice center, while both Hamburg and Munich have Citaro vehicles on standby as large-capacity rescue vehicles for treating the injured following a major incident. Meanwhile, the 101 Citaro models which were given an unmistakable interior and exterior makeover by design specialist James Irvine and then put into service for the World Expo in Hanover in 2000 still turn heads in the city with their special Üstra styling.

The Mercedes-Benz Bus and Coach unit even will customize the Citaro for any customer. It doesn’t have to be an independent body with completely individualized interior appointments. In addition to special technical equipment, customization services include individual advice on interior and exterior design issues from the experts of the design studio in Mannheim. At the studio, the customer and the design consultant jointly plan the paintwork on powerful computers with large 130 x 100 cm monitors.

The interior of the Citaro is even designed step by step on a virtual round through the bus in a realistic 3-D animation. The viewers go through all conceivable seating variants and assess them from all angles. Afterwards the fabrics are selected. Seat layout, seatbacks, side wall paneling, grab rails, the rails of the roof edges, stop request buttons and floor coverings can be combined again and again and optimally color-matched.

The new Design Center at the Mannheim plant.

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