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50 articulated e-buses for Bremen

Irizar "ie bus 18" for Bremen | © BSAG / Irizar e-mobility

Around a century after its first journey on the Weser, the farewell to diesel buses in the Hanseatic city is sealed. By the mid-2030s, the fleet of the Bremer Straßenbahn AG (BSAG) will be electrically powered, that is the ambitious goal. To date, a total of 20 electric solo buses are in operation. On 12 May 2023, the contract for the delivery of a total of 50 additional electric buses was signed.

The new buses in detail

Starting next year, 35 Mercedes-Benz (EvoBus) eCitaro G vehicles and 15 “ie bus 18” buses from the Spanish manufacturer Irizar e-mobility will be used on the Weser. German distribution partner for Irizar is Jebsen & Jensen. The new vehicles will be stationed in Bremen-Nord, more precisely at the Blumenthal depot. This will be converted by mid-2025 and will thus be the pilot location for the electrification of the bus fleet.

With a length of around 18 metres, a width of 2.55 metres and a height of 3.30 metres (Irizar) or 3.40 metres (Mercedes-Benz), both vehicles correspond externally to the dimensions of other articulated buses. Both models are air-conditioned, have monitors for passenger information, have four doors and are equipped with modern safety systems such as video recording and a turn-off assistant.

The Irizar bus has more than 30 seats and 73 standing places and is powered by a mid-mounted engine with a maximum output of 233 kilowatts (equivalent to just over 310 hp). A 470 kilowatt-hour (kWh) battery provides a range of 220 to 250 kilometres.

The eCitaro G from Mercedes-Benz (EvoBus) offers almost 40 seats and 75 standing places. Its electric drive has a peak output of 250 kilowatts (equivalent to 340 hp) and is powered by an advanced lithium-ion battery – a so-called NMC battery. It offers a total capacity of 686 kWh – of which 490 kWh can be used. The range is at least 220 kilometres – over the entire lifetime of the battery packs.

Mercedes-Benz eCitaro G | © BSAG / Daimler Truck

An e-bus depot in Blumenthal

However, before the first electric bus can start its regular service in Bremen-Nord, the existing infrastructure must be adapted. And this already begins in the ground in front of the depot: in order to be able to charge such a large number of electric buses simultaneously overnight, the energy supply must be adapted.

The decision for Bremen-Nord also has practical reasons. The large area of the depot allows for continued operation during the construction work. As a bus-only location, there are also no disruptive overhead lines and tracks. All this facilitates the conversion work, which would otherwise be difficult to realise in such a short time.

Funding commitments

For the necessary modernisation in Blumenthal and the procurement of the electric buses, the Bremen Senate approved a total of 99 million euros in summer 2022. Of this, the City of Bremen is contributing around 59 million euros and BSAG is contributing 14.7 million euros itself. A total of 22.2 million euros comes as funding from the Federal Ministry of Digital Affairs and Transport (BMDV). They are part of a comprehensive funding package coordinated by NOW GmbH.

(Info: BSAG)