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Darmstadt: Half of the fleet are electric buses!

Presentation of the new MAN e-buses for HEAG mobilo | © HEAG mobilo
HEAG mobilo presents new electric buses from MAN

HEAG mobilo has reached an important milestone in the conversion of its bus fleet to electric drive: with the introduction of nine new Lion’s City 18E articulated buses from MAN, half of all buses are now electrically powered. The buses, which are now in operation on the HEAG mobilo route network, were presented at a press event at the Böllenfalltor depot on 30 January 2024.

In August 2022, HEAG mobilo received a grant of 7.8 million euros from the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV) for the procurement of a total of 24 electric buses and for the expansion of the charging and infrastructure at the Böllenfalltor depot as part of the “Guideline for the Promotion of Alternative Drive Systems for Buses in Passenger Transport”. The funding guideline is coordinated by NOW GmbH and implemented by the Project Management Organisation Jülich (PtJ).

The nine buses will be deployed with immediate effect on the routes on which articulated buses are already in use, both in the city of Darmstadt and in the district of Darmstadt-Dieburg.

The new articulated buses offer space for a total of 120 passengers and, thanks to modern batteries with 60 per cent more battery capacity than the first electric articulated buses, also have a greater range of up to 300 km per charge. “By gradually converting our fleet, we are benefiting from technical progress in drive technology. The greater range enables us to run longer daily routes and makes operational planning easier,” says HEAG mobilo Managing Director Johannes Gregor, explaining the benefits.

The Lion’s City model scores with a total capacity of 640 kWh from eight battery packs with sophisticated lithium-ion cell technology (NMC). As these battery packs are located on the roof of the buses, in the event of a rear-end collision they are positioned far away from the rear area, which is usually affected. Another special feature is that there is no engine tower in the rear passenger compartment. This makes additional seats possible.

HEAG mobile’s timetable for the switch to electric buses:

The city of Darmstadt started its approach towards e-mobility with the corresponding political decisions, so that the first eCitaros from the manufacturer EvoBus could be delivered in June 2020. Since then, the e-bus family has been growing continuously:

  • – Feasibility study 2015/16
  • – Tender for first electric buses 2016/17
  • – Delivery & commissioning of the first 6 e-buses from June 2020
  • – Order of further e-buses 2020
  • – Delivery & deployment of a further 24 eCitaro electric buses – 11 standard and 13 articulated buses from August 2021
  • – Delivery & deployment of a further 9 Lion’s City 18E articulated electric buses
  • – Expected delivery of 10 eCitaro articulated electric buses in spring 2024 and 6 eCitaro electric buses in early 2025

Depending on the availability of funding, orders for further e-buses are planned.

(Info: HEAG mobilo)

Mercedes-Benz e-Citaro of 2020 for HEAG mobilo | © Christian Marquordt
Mercedes-Benz eCitaro G of 2021 for HEAG mobilo | © Christian Marquordt