The order from VAG Nuremberg is the first-ever for the all-electric MAN Lion's City 18 E articulated bus.
- A total of 39 fully-electric solo and articulated buses ordered from MAN Truck & Bus
- Delivery of electric buses scheduled for 2021
- Nuremberg local transport operator’s objective: e-mobility as the key to sustainable mobility
Series production of battery-powered electric city buses began successfully at the beginning of October 2020 at the MAN plant in Starachowice, Poland. It began with the 12-metre solo version of the Lion’s City E. The fully electric Lion’s City E articulated bus version is set to go into series production in the first half of 2021. The first 18-metre buses produced will then be delivered to Nuremberg.
With the MAN Lion’s City E, VAG Nuremberg is putting its trust in a reliable e-bus with proven cell and battery technology. “In future, we will also be counting on e-mobility for our bus services. Our new city buses will be charged exclusively with green electricity. This will make them completely emission-free and also quiet. They also provide safety and comfort for our customers”, says Josef Hasler, Chief Executive Officer of VAG Nuremberg.
The batteries are charged at the depot via a Combined Charging System plug (CCS). At an average charging power of 100 kW, the solobus (12 E) reaches full charge in under three hours, and the articulated bus (18 E) can do so in under four – at a maximum charging power of 150 kW, the charging time shortens accordingly.
The Lion’s City 12 E can carry up to 88 passengers, the MAN Lion’s City 18 E up to 120 people. The high passenger capacity is also due to the optimised seating area at the rear, resulting from the omission of the engine tower. This means that the e-bus has additional seats and more pleasant and friendly lighting conditions. To power its e-bus, MAN relies on a central motor on the rear axle or, in the articulated bus, two central motors on the second and third axle, which has a hugely positive effect on the handling of the articulated version. The two driven axles increase stability and thus safety and achieve maximum energy recuperation when braking. The power for the fully electric driveline comes from the batteries on the vehicle roof, which have an installed capacity of 480 kWh (solo) and 640 kWh (articulated bus). MAN relies on sophisticated battery cell technology from the Group’s modular system. This allows MAN to reliably ensure a range of 200 km, up to 270 km in favourable conditions, over the entire service life of the batteries.
Charged in the depot or with a CCS charging connector, the long-lasting batteries guarantee easy integration into existing operating processes. “This was a crucial criterion for us. We charge our bus fleet exclusively at the depot. Therefore we need reliable buses with a long-range”, says the VAG Chief Executive Officer. He adds: “Our last invitation to tender attracted bids from eight e-bus manufacturers. We chose the MAN Lion’s City E. We will be delighted if we can start using the first e-buses from MAN in the summer when our new e-bus port will be completed.” To provide sufficient charging capacity for the electric city buses, the Nuremberg transport provider is building an e-bus port with 39 charging stations between its depot and workshop. This is set to be opened in mid-2021.
The electric drive is also noticeable in the vehicle's interior. The elimination of the engine tower gave the developers plenty of scope for optimizing the rear end.
MAN has made the best possible use of the design freedom in the interior: Friendlier lighting conditions and four additional seats in the rear provide even more comfort and a feel-good atmosphere.
Including the new vehicles ordered, the VAG Nuremberg fleet is made up of around 200 vehicles – including diesel, natural gas, hybrid and electric buses. A total of 150 of them were supplied by MAN Truck & Bus. “MAN is the only supplier from which we will have all three drive types in use in the coming years. When we place orders, the crucial factors for us are always issues such as environmentally friendly drives, innovation and progress. For decades, we have been clearly pursuing the strategy of reducing emissions as far as possible. We see e-mobility as the future”, says Josef Hasler, adding: “But let’s not forget that service and a cooperative partnership are also extremely important to us.”
VAG Nuremberg and MAN have been working together on field trials for several years now. A MAN Lion’s City 12 and a Lion’s City 18 with MAN EfficientHybrid technology are currently operating in Nuremberg as part of a long-term vehicle test. “VAG Nuremberg is not only a good customer, but it is also a partner in the development of the new MAN Lion’s City generation”, Rudi Kuchta explains. Employees from VAG Nuremberg were involved in the development of the new series as part of the city bus expert advisory group. “We are grateful that – thanks to their valuable experience – they contributed to developing a state of the art and multiple award-winning city bus, which will now set new standards on Nuremberg's roads as a fully electric version”, says Rudi Kuchta.