In the summer of 2019, UTM already reported on Hannover’s municipal transport company’s (ÜSTRA) plans to entirely convert its inner city bus lines to electric bus operations by 2022: These are lines 100 and 200 (opposite circular lines between the city centre and August-Holweg-Platz), 120 (from Ahlem to Aegidientorplatz), 121 (from Haltenhoffstraße to Altenbekener Damm), 128 (from Nordring to Peiner Straße) and 134 (with different route also from Nordring to Peiner Straße).
In August 2019, ÜSTRA signed a contract with Mercedes-Benz for the supply of 48 electric buses to operate on these six lines: 30 twelve-metre-long ebuses and 18 articulated ones. (https://www.urban-transport-magazine.com/en/hannovers-ustra-orders-48-mercedes-benz-ecitaros/ )
Already in January, Mercedes delivered the first four eCitaros to ÜSTRA which bear the numbers 9501 to 9504. They were initially used for test rides and drivers’ trainings and had a special livery resembling the special design of the so-called „Irvine-Citaro“ Mercedes-Benz buses from 20 years ago.
On 11 September, the first eCitaro for ÜSTRA was officially presented at Hannover’s football stadium (called “Niedersachsenstadion”). This first “series vehicle” 9505 was painted in ÜSTRA’s standard livery green-silver-orange.
The presentation concluded with a demonstration tour from the stadium to August-Holweg-Platz (and back), and at August-Holweg-Platz the bus recharged at the opportunity charging station.
Revenue service started on 14 September, on lines 100 and 200. 15 eCitaros and one eCitaro G will be in service in Hannover, to be followed by two additional eCitatros plus seven articulated eCitaros G in 2021. The final batch of 13 eCitaros and another seven eCitaros G will be delivered in 2022. This will enable ÜSTRA to operate all six “inner city lines” completely electric.
ÜSTRA’s CEO Dr. Volkhardt Klöppner said during his speech at the presentation of the new buses: “By 2023, we will continue to expand the environmental advantage of public transport in the Hanover region with a total of 48 electric vehicles on a total of six inner city lines. We want to be the first major German city to operate public transport electrically in the entire inner city area – and this with CO2-free energy.”
The electric buses will be based at the two depots, Mittelfeld and Vahrenwald, which need extensive modifications at the depot and the workshop area.
The total investment for the “Future Project E-Bus” in Hannover amounts to 50 million euros. Germany’s Federal Ministry for the Environmental Protection and Nuclear Safety provided 22.7 million euros and the municipal Niedersächsische Landes-Nahverkehrsgesellschaft 2.9 million euros.
Technical specifications of the Mercedes-Benz eCitaros in Hannover:
Length: 12,135 mm
Width: 2,550 mm
Height: 3,400 mm
Wheelbase: 5,900 mm
Turning circle: 21,214 mm
Passenger capacity: 88 passengers, of which: 27 seats 61 standing places
Front axle: ZF 82 RL with single-wheel suspension
Drive axle: Z/F AVE 130 with electric motors close to the wheel
Voltage: 400 volts
Batteries: 10 modules
2 modules in the rear, remaining modules on the roof NMC (nickel manganese cobalt) Capacity per module: 63kWh
Recharging: a) over-night-charging (on the Betriebshof): Comboplug,right above the front
b) on the line (opportunity charging): Pantograph, roof-mounted
Charging cap: 243 to 330 kWh
Range without recharging: 120 kilometers
Active Brake Assist (ABA)
Turning assistant: prevents accidents (e.g. with cyclists and pedestrians) while turning
Air conditioning with heatpump, refrigerant CO2
Heating purely electric (i.e. pollutant)
Driver’s workstation with safety plate (keyword “Corona”) separated
Free Wi-Fi and USB sockets for passengers
Information monitors in the interior
Floor in wooden optical design
Ab. Total weight: 20,000 kg23.10.2020