Plenty of snow, wintry temperatures, all at an altitude of around 2,000 metres above sea level: in mid-January 2022, the eCitaro G articulated bus demonstrated its outstanding abilities in scheduled-service operation at Seiser Alm in South Tyrol.
First test of an electric bus in regular services at Seiser Alm
“The first test of an 18-metre electric bus at these altitudes of almost 2,000 metres at Seiser Alm – this is a great moment for us in South Tyrol,” Daniel Alfreider says as the deputy provincial governor and, as a provincial councillor in the government of South Tyrol, he is responsible for elements including infrastructure and mobility. Alfreider continues: “our goal is zero emissions mobility for the people here in South Tyrol.”
The fully electric Mercedes-Benz eCitaro G articulated bus is just right for this. Equipped with solid-state batteries and a capacity of 441 kWh, it demonstrated stability, traction and performance with two driven axles. “A super driving experience” was the verdict of driver Franz Federspieler. And he should know, having been driving buses for 40 years.
Bus company Silbernagl focuses on technical innovations and protecting the environment
The eCitaro G was used on a route operated by Silbernagl between the towns of Compatsch (1850 metres above sea level) and Saltria (1680 metres) on Seiser Alm, Europe’s largest Alpine plateau, located in the South Tyrolean Dolomites in Italy. Silbernagel has its headquarters not far away in Kastelruth, South Tyrol. The company focuses on technical innovations and the best possible environmental compatibility. General Director Carlo Greco was therefore happy to be convinced of the eCitaro G’s capabilities, even under such unusual circumstances: “the 18-metre-long vehicles with 6×4 axle configuration are of great interest to us. We are confident that we will be able to integrate them into our bus fleet over the coming years.”
The very modern and well-maintained Silbernagl fleet consists of some 70 coaches and scheduled-service buses ranging from compact minibuses to double-deckers, almost exclusively of the Mercedes-Benz and Setra brands. Founded in 1978 by Anton and Monika Silbernagl, the family-owned business is one of the most successful bus companies in South Tyrol and offers all travel-related services with more than 100 employees.
SOURCE: Daimler Truck