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Hannover: First eCitaro in regular service

ÜSTRA 9504, 9505, 9503 und 9501 | © Renate Marquordt

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.

Üstra 9501 resembling the previous “Irvine-Look” | © Achim Uhlenhut
Original Irvine-Citaro | © Christian Marquordt
No. 9501 on its way to the official presentation | © Christian Marquordt

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.”

ÜSTRA CEO Dr. Volkhardt Klöppner Board Member Denise Hahn | © Christian Marquordt

The electric buses will be based at the two depots, Mittelfeld and Vahrenwald, which need extensive modifications at the depot and the workshop area.


ÜSTRA 9503 charging at August-Holweg-Platz | © Christian Marquordt



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

Wheelchair ramp

Free Wi-Fi and USB sockets for passengers

Information monitors in the interior

Floor in wooden optical design

Ab. Total weight: 20,000 kg

Interior design | © Christian Marquordt
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