As its energy storage device, the new Mercedes-Benz Citaro G BlueTEC® Hybrid uses a lithium-ion battery with an output unprecedented in this performance category. The battery system generates a maximum of 240 kW and, at less than 350 kg, is comparatively light. Key advantages over conventional battery systems include a higher energy density, high storage capacity, and low weight. By way of comparison, hybrid drive buses tested in Stuttgart 30 years ago used 3000-kg lead batteries.
Lithium-ion batteries first came on the market in 1991. Today they can be found in virtually all devices that combine high energy requirements with low weight, e.g. mobile phones, digital cameras, camcorders, and notebooks. It was only relatively recently, however, that they began to be used in large vehicles like passenger cars, trucks, and buses. The use of lithium-ion batteries in buses is nothing new for Daimler. More than 900 of the 2850 hybrid buses on the road produced by Orion (a Daimler AG brand in USA), the global market leader for hybrid buses, are already equipped with lithium-ion batteries manufactured by the company that supplied the battery system for the new Mercedes-Benz Citaro G BlueTEC® Hybrid. The output of this system corresponds to that of approximately 9000 large laptop batteries.