The new Mercedes-Benz Citaro FuelCELL Hybrid city bus is celebrating its world premiere from June 7 to 11 at the UITP World Congress and Mobility & City Transport Exhibition in Vienna.

The fuel cell hybrid bus is the first vehicle in Daimler Buses’ new generation of fuel cell buses. It combines the advantages of the diesel-electric Citaro G BlueTec Hybrid, which was unveiled a few months ago, with those of the hydrogen-powered Citaro fuel cell buses, which have delivered impressive performance in fleet tests.

An exceptional feature of the Mercedes-Benz Citaro FuelCELL Hybrid is its outstanding environmental friendliness. The bus runs without emitting any pollutants and is virtually silent, making it ideal for use in highly congested inner cities and urban areas.

“As the world’s largest bus manufacturer with a claim to technological leadership, we always strive to be at the forefront of developments leading to zero-emission local public transportation,” says Hartmut Schick, Head of Daimler Buses. “We are delighted for the opportunity in Vienna to present our new regular-service city bus to international decision-makers for the first time.” Headquartered in Brussels, the International Association of Public Transport (French designation: Union Internationale des Transports Publics, UITP) is the global organization for local public transport authorities and operators. It brings together transport companies, the supply industry, public authorities, and traffic researchers from more than 90 countries.

The Mercedes-Benz Citaro FuelCELL Hybrid was developed within the framework of Daimler’s global commercial vehicle initiative “Shaping Future Transportation.” The initiative is to be aimed at using clean, efficient drive systems and alternative fuels to make zero-emission commercial vehicles a reality in the future. The Shaping Future Transportation initiative calls for sparing use of resources and reductions of all kinds of emissions while at the same time guaranteeing maximum traffic safety.

“Our new fuel cell hybrid bus is the next step on the road to zero-emission transportation. The objective of this development is to emphasize our technological leadership on a sustained basis,” says Schick. The engineers who developed the bus were able to call upon the Group’s specific expertise in this field. The fuel cell systems used, for example, are identical with those installed in the Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL passenger car, for which small-lot production will begin later this year. Several components were also borrowed from the B-Class F-CELL, with developers mutually benefiting from their respective test results.

Daimler Buses will produce a small batch of about 30 vehicles of this new generation of fuel cell buses and offer them to European mass transit companies. Beginning in fall, Daimler Buses will be conducting extensive, large-scale testing of the Mercedes-Benz Citaro FuelCell Hybrid bus in a number of European cities. This test series will proceed along the lines of the successful CUTE fleet test conducted by the European Union between 2003 und 2006. Since 2003, a total of 36 Mercedes-Benz Citaro buses equipped with fuel cell drives have displayed top performance for 12 public transport agencies on three continents as part of the CUTE test and other related testing programs. During approximately 135,000 hours of operation the buses were driven a combined total of more than two million kilometers, and the environmentally friendly fuel cell drive system impressively demonstrated its ability to function properly under everyday operating conditions.

Daimler is the global market leader for commercial vehicles with diesel hybrid drives. The first two Mercedes-Benz Citaro G BlueTec Hybrid buses will be delivered to Rotterdam and Hamburg at the end of this year. An additional 250 customers were impressed by the outstanding features of this bus model at a driving demonstration that was put on this past March.

So far 1,700 Orion hybrid buses have been delivered to customers in the U.S. and Canada, and a further 1,100 have been ordered. In addition, more than 200 Freightliner hybrid trucks have gone into operation, and another 200 such models will be delivered to UPS beginning in 2009. And Freightliner will put more than 1,500 medium-duty hybrid trucks on the road over the next three years. Meanwhile, the Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation is offering the Fuso Aero Star Eco Hybrid bus, and 25 of these vehicles are already being used by customers.

Source: Daimler AG