Alternative drives at Daimler Trucks and Buses

Daimler Trucks & Buses is clearly committed to the goals of the Paris Climate Protection Agreement and thus to the decarbonization of the industry: The company aims to offer only new vehicles that are CO2-neutral in driving operation (“tank-to-wheel”) in the triad markets of Europe, Japan and NAFTA by 2039.

Fully CO₂-neutral transport can be accomplished through electric drive trains with energy coming either from batteries or by converting hydrogen on board into electricity.

  • With these two technologies, we can cover all major use cases of our truck customers: from predictable routes for urban distribution to difficult-to-plan, multi-day transports of containers, bulk goods and the like.
  • Battery-electric and hydrogen-drive technologies therefore complement each other perfectly. Which technology best meets the needs of customers depends on the specific use case.
  • Already by 2022, Daimler Trucks & Buses’ plans to include series-produced vehicles with battery-electric drive in its vehicle portfolio in its main sales regions Europe, USA and Japan.
  • In the second half of the 2020s, Daimler Trucks & Buses wants to additionally extend its series production portfolio to include electrically powered fuel cell trucks. By 2022, Daimler Trucks & Buses will already offer the Mercedes-Benz eCitaro with Fuel Cell as Range Extender.
  • In April 2020, Daimler Truck AG together with the Volvo Group announced the planned establishment of a new joint venture. The intention is to develop, produce and commercialize fuel cell systems for heavy-duty vehicle applications and other use cases. Further information can be found here.

Below is an overview and further information on alternative drive technologies at Daimler Trucks & Buses.

Daimler Trucks

  • We were the first manufacturer to seriously commit to e-mobility in heavy trucks and, today, are pioneers and in all segments with electric vehicles in customer use.
  • Further information on Mercedes-Benz eActros, FUSO eCanter, Mercedes-Benz eEconic, Freightliner eCascadia, Freightliner eM2 and the Thomas Built Buses Saf-T-Liner C2 Jouley can be foundhere.

Mercedes-Benz eActros

  • In the second half of the 2020s, Daimler Trucks & Buses wants to additionally extend its series production portfolio to include electrically powered fuel cell trucks. The aim is for them to run on liquid hydrogen. By 2022, Daimler Trucks & Buses will already offer the Mercedes-Benz eCitaro with Fuel Cell as Range Extender.
  • Daimler has been working on drive technologies based on hydrogen for more than 30 years. To date the company’s fuel cell vehicles have traveled many millions of kilometers, demonstrating the marketability of this drive concept. In order to get the hydrogen drive into series production as soon as possible, Daimler Truck AG will make large investments.
  • In April 2020, Daimler Truck AG together with the Volvo Group announced the planned establishment of a new joint venture. The intention is to develop, produce and commercialize fuel cell systems for heavy-duty vehicle applications and other use cases. Further information can be found here.
  • Daimler Trucks & Buses will actively participate in the standardization for the generation and refueling of liquid hydrogen so that the technology can establish itself widely in the transport industry.
  • With the FUSO prototype "Concept eCanter FCell" (previously "Vision F-Cell"), introduced in October 2019, Daimler Truck AG is already testing the possibilities of fuel cell technology in trucks.

  • Natural gas is a fossil fuel - and therefore on the way to CO2-neutral transport, it is at most a transitional technology, even if it burns with less emissions than diesel.
  • Truly CO2-neutral transport only works with battery-electric or hydrogen-based drive. That's why Daimler Trucks is consistently focusing on battery-electric and hydrogen-powered commercial vehicles that can drive locally without emissions.

  • All of our major truck engines of the latest generation can be fueled with alternative, so-called bio fuels according to the EU standard prEN 15940. These include the subgroups Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO), Biomass To Liquid (BTL), Gas To Liquid (GTL), Coal To Liquid (CTL) which are different resources converted to fuels through chemical processes.
  • Since the characteristics of these fuels according to norm prEN 15940 mean that it is absolutely comparable to conventionally produced petroleum-based diesel fuel, no modifications to the engines or their peripherals are necessary.

  • As a global manufacturer, Daimler is working on future-oriented solutions that have great potential for worldwide implementation. Due to the high infrastructure costs involved, the company does not see potential in overhead lines at present – also in view of the rapid development of battery and fuel cell technology.
  • Daimler Trucks is not against catenary trucks, but for realistic and timely solutions. We are convinced that with the battery-electric truck we have a flexible and already available concept for the respective field of application - without expensive, time-consuming and lengthy planning measures. The electric Mercedes-Benz Actros - the eActros - is already on the road as a prototype and from 2021 in series production. Yet, with the eActros, we will do a comparison test with the overhead line project eWayBW in the so-called Murgtal in the region around the city of Rastatt in southern Germany.

Daimler Buses

Lower CO2 emissions when operating on natural gas, nearly CO2-neutral use of bio natural gas, and with low noise emissions and no particulate emissions – alternative-fuel engines have clear advantages when vehicle operators want to reduce emissions quickly.

Accordingly, the natural gas powered Mercedes-Benz Citaro NGT (Natural Gas Technology) is an important step toward emission-free driving in urban areas. CO2 emissions of the Mercedes-Benz natural gas engine are up to 10% lower than those of a diesel engine. With the use of bio natural gas, the natural gas bus is nearly CO2-neutral and in some cases will considerably undercut the Euro VI exhaust emission limits. Low CO2 emissions and a low noise level make the Citaro NGT well-suited for use in heavily congested inner cities or driving in residential areas.

The Mercedes-Benz Citaro NGT.

The Mercedes-Benz Citaro hybrid is available in a variety of model variants of the best-selling city bus Citaro – including the natural gas-powered Citaro NGT. Fuel consumption of the already very efficient conventional Citaro is further reduced thanks to electrohydraulic steering, depending on the application and vehicle model. Even lower fuel consumption quickly pays off for public transport companies and society and the environment benefit from lower emissions.

The Mercedes-Benz Citaro hybrid was named "Bus of the Year 2019" by an independent jury. Criteria included economic efficiency, innovation, quality and user-friendliness. The Citaro Ü hybrid overland variant also scored points in sustainability and was awarded the "Sustainable Bus Award 2019" for intercity buses.

Citaro hybrid

E-mobility is a crucial factor for urban traffic of the future. We are therefore working very hard on the electrification of our vehicles with a focus on those market segments in which electrified buses can work first – both technologically and economically. That means vehicles used in urban areas.

With the all-electric Mercedes-Benz eCitaro Daimler Buses has been offering a locally emission-free city bus for environmentally friendly public transport in cities and metropolitan areas since 2018.

Power is supplied by lithium-ion batteries. With its charging technology this electric bus adapts to the individual requirements of public transport companies. Innovative thermal management ensures efficient energy consumption and forms the basis for a practical range. Without interim charging it can already cover about one-third of public transport routes. Production of the battery electric eCitaro is running at the Daimler Buses site in Mannheim at the standard rate.

The Mercedes-Benz eCitaro is the start of an innovation offensive aimed at the rapid and practical electrification of public transport with buses in cities and metropolitan areas. As the development of battery technology rapidly progresses, eCitaro is already anticipating the switch to future technologies: In 2021 we will offer eCitaro with the next generation of batteries. By the end of 2020 eCitaro will come to the market with solid-state batteries (lithium-polymer batteries). In 2022 there will be a battery-powered bus with a range extender (hydrogen-based fuel cell providing the high-voltage battery with power). From 2020 on the eCitaro will follow in another model variant as an articulated bus.

The new all-electric city bus eCitaro is part of the overall eMobility system from Daimler Buses. In order to assist our customers with the conversion to electric bus fleets, our eMobility consulting team advises them to their desired extent on possible applications – criteria such as bus line length, passenger volume, energy requirements, range calculation and charging management are all taken into account.

Daimler Buses eCitaro

We use cookies

We want to make our website more user-friendly and continuously improve it. If you continue to use the website, you agree to the use of cookies.