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English   Alternative drive systems in Buses of Daimler AG – Part I
23.12.2008 von admin

Hybrid drive in a production vehicle: The Cito midibus

In 1999 Daimler-Benz introduced a diesel-electric production vehicle of original design which occupied a special market segment: available in three lengths from eight to 9.60 meters for 45 to 65 passengers, the 2.35 meter wide Cito was especially well suited for negotiating the winding lanes of historic old town centers, but also for shuttle operation at airports and trade shows like the International Commercial Vehicle Show (IAA) in Hanover. The 125 hp four-liter diesel engine OM 904 LA, a generator and the asynchronous drive motor were combined into a soundproofed power pack in the rear to save space.

Diesel-electric operation in cities: In the Mercedes-Benz Cito (1998), a four-cylinder engine powered a generator which produced electricity for the traction motor. Purely electric operation was possible over short distances.

Vehicle behavior was particularly quiet and comfortable also owing to the infinitely variable acceleration, entirely without a transmission. And the bus had a low floor throughout, an entry height of just 32 centimeters, outstanding visibility through large windows, and a highly effective heating and air conditioning system. Moreover, with a gross vehicle weight of 11.1 to 12.5 tons thanks to plastic and aluminum components, the Cito definitely was a lightweight. As might have been expected, one year after its launch the midibus won the coveted “Bus of the Year 2001” award. At the same time the Mannheim local public transport company put five 9.60 meter long vehicles into operation.

In the long term, however, the order inflow fell short of expectations so that EvoBus terminated the project in 2003. Exactly 643 units had been produced by then.

Photos and text:
Daimler AG

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