Along with a number of other automakers, Daimler has been working diligently to bring fuel cell technology to the road in real applications, including testing the Citaro FuelCell bus. Since 2003, a fleet of 36 first-generation hydrogen Citaros has been operating with transit authorities across Europe. In that time, the buses have accumulated 135,000 hours of operation and over 1.2 million miles.
Daimler is currently preparing to build a new fleet of 30 examples of its next-generation Citaro FuelCELL. In recognition of these efforts, the environmental ministry of the German state of Baden-Württemberg have presented Daimler with an award for its work. The award was presented at a fuel cell conference in Stuttgart earlier this week. The new buses use the same series hybrid architecture as the Citaro G Bluetec hybrid. The rear wheels are driven by hub motors with a lithium ion battery. The fuel cell operates at constant output, keeping the battery pack charged.
Daimler Receives F-Cell Award for Application-oriented Fuel Cell Technology
Daimler has received the F-Cell Award for innovative use of fuel cell technology in the Mercedes-Benz Citaro FuelCELL Hybrid urban bus. Two employees accepted the award on behalf of Daimler last Monday during the F-Cell Conference in Stuttgart. "We are very delighted about this award as it once again highlights our innovative skill as the world's largest bus manufacturer and also helps take us a big step toward our goal of zero-emission driving," said Hartmut Schick, Head of Daimler Buses. "The award confirms that we also are the technology leader in the area of alternative drive technologies."
The F-Cell Award was presented by Baden-Württemberg's Environmental Ministry, Wirtschaftsförderung Region Stuttgart GmbH, and EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG for the ninth time. The innovation award established by the state of Baden-Württemberg honors application-oriented developments related to fuel cells.
Together with their teams, the Daimler employees Monika Kentzler and Wolfram Fleck from "E-Drive and Future Mobility" and Michael Edig from EvoBus GmbH were instrumental in the development of the Mercedes-Benz Citaro FuelCELL Hybrid. "We are proud that these three employees, as well as the many others who were involved in the project, achieved such a great feat," says Hartmut Schick. "It demonstrates how commitment and interdisciplinary cooperation can result in pioneering solutions."
The Mercedes-Benz Citaro FuelCELL Hybrid made its public debut last June at the UITP Congress in Vienna. The fuel cell hybrid bus is the first member of Daimler Buses' new generation of fuel cell buses. It combines the advantages of the diesel-electric Citaro G BlueTec Hybrid, which had been unveiled a few months earlier, with those of the hydrogen-powered Citaro fuel cell buses.
The exceptional feature of the Mercedes-Benz Citaro FuelCELL Hybrid is its outstanding environmental friendliness. The bus emits absolutely no pollutants while in motion, and it's also virtually silent, making it ideal for use in highly congested inner cities and metropolitan areas.
Later this year Daimler Buses will produce a small batch of about 30 vehicles from this new generation of fuel cell buses and offer them to European mass transit companies. The Mercedes-Benz Citaro FuelCELL Hybrid bus will undergo extensive testing in several cities throughout Europe. 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. In approximately 135,000 hours of operation, during which the buses covered a total of more than two million kilometers, the environmentally friendly fuel cell drive system impressively demonstrated its ability to function properly under everyday operating conditions.
The Mercedes-Benz Citaro FuelCELL Hybrid was developed within the framework of Daimler's global commercial vehicle initiative "Shaping Future Transportation." The aim of this initiative is to use clean, efficient drive systems along with alternative fuels to realize zero-emission commercial vehicles for tomorrow's transportation needs. The Shaping Future Transportation initiative includes using resources sparingly and reducing emissions of every kind while at the same time guaranteeing maximum traffic safety.