As part of the “H2Rhein-Neckar” project, Rhein-Neckar-Verkehr GmbH (rnv) had already ordered 40 fuel cell range extender buses from Daimler Buses (formerly EvoBus) for around 41 million euros in October 2022. There is an option to order a further 27 buses by 2030. Eight of these eCitaro H2 REX vehicles have now also been firmly ordered for Ludwigshafen. This will convert the entire articulated bus fleet currently in use in Mannheim, Heidelberg and Ludwigshafen to zero-emission vehicles.
The rnv cites climate targets as the main argument for no longer purchasing diesel vehicles. Purely battery-electric buses would not have the necessary range and would have to be recharged too often and for too long. This would require more vehicles or could lead to restrictions in the operation of the buses.
A specially constructed hydrogen filling station is being built in Wieblinger Weg in Heidelberg. In Mannheim, the hydrogen filling station will be built on existing depot land. In Ludwigshafen, the operator “H2-MOBILITY” will build its own hydrogen filling station near the rnv depot in Rheingönheim. It is expected to go into operation at the beginning of 2025 and will also be available to private users and businesses with hydrogen vehicles.
Mercedes-Benz eCitaro battery electric buses have already been operating with the rnv since 2019, with 6 being delivered in 2019 and a further 30 with higher battery capacity and greater range in 2021/22, 15 of them allocated to the depot in Ludwigshafen, 11 in Mannheim and another 10 in Heidelberg.17.10.2023