Verkehrsbetriebe-Hamburg-Holstein GmbH public transport provider has ordered 95 Mercedes-Benz eCitaro/eCitaro G buses. The first of the fully electrically powered and locally emission-free buses is expected to be delivered by the end of this year, while the other vehicles will be delivered in the first half of 2024. In addition, VHH has secured an option for a maximum of 155 further vehicles by 2028.
VHH already has 37 eCitaros and eCitaro Gs in use. The first vehicles were put into operation in 2020, shortly after the start of the model’s series introduction. Together with the buses now on order, the number rises to an impressive total of 132 all-electric, low-floor buses bearing the star in the VHH fleet.
“Hamburg is one of Europe’s capital cities for our eCitaro,” Mirko Sgodda proudly said about the major order in his role as the Head of Sales, Marketing and Customer Services at Daimler Buses. We would like to thank VHH for the confidence they have in our product and the major follow-up order.”
“One of our most important topics for the future is electromobility. Since 2020, VHH has been exclusively procuring electric buses for Hamburg. “We have broken new ground here and are glad that we can now rely on vehicles that have reached series maturity. Great progress has been made in terms of range and availability in particular,” said Dr. Lorenz Kasch, VHH Managing Director.
The current order consists of 47 three-door Mercedes-Benz eCitaro solo buses and 48 four-door eCitaro G articulated buses. They feature the latest battery technology with high-performance NMC3 batteries. An energy capacity of 490 kWh for the solo bus and as much as 588 kWh for the articulated bus ensure a practical range without intermediate charging. The buses are therefore charged at VHH depots. Charging sockets on both the left and right at the height of the front wheel arches ensure a high degree of flexibility at the depot.
The extensive safety equipment of the 95 city buses is a feature deserving of attention. It includes Preventive Brake Assist, Sideguard Assist and the Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System (AVAS). As standard, the eCitaro already comes with anti-roll protection as well as the ESP electronic stability program in the solo bus, plus the anti-jackknifing protection ATC (Articulation Turntable Controller) in the articulated bus.
Passenger comfort is by no means lagging behind either. Reflecting this, a friendly interior with a wood-look floor welcomes passengers. They will be sitting on upholstered City Star Function seats from our own production. Passengers with restricted mobility will find one (solo bus) or even three (articulated bus) dedicated zones for wheelchairs and/or strollers. Dual USB charging sockets at all seats and TFT screens in a lush 29-inch format ensure that passengers can be informed and entertained on board. The vehicles are also equipped with passenger counting systems.
Verkehrsbetriebe Hamburg-Holstein GmbH operates 170 routes throughout the Hamburg metropolitan region. With more than 2,300 employees and around 670 buses at 17 sites, VHH is the second-largest local transportation company in northern Germany. The vehicles cover around 34 million kilometers (21 million miles) in Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein every year, carrying around 62 million passengers. The backbone of the fleet is the low-emission Mercedes-Benz Citaro and the locally emission-free eCitaro, both as solo and articulated buses.
With the elexity brand, VHH is bundling all aspects of sustainable mobility – from the infrastructure at depots to specially trained staff and vehicles that run on 100 percent green electricity. Since 2020, VHH has been exclusively procuring locally emission-free buses for use in Hamburg’s urban area. The goal is to convert the VHH vehicle fleet to zero-emission drives as far as possible by the 2030s.