Daimler Buses has consistently invested in fuel-cell technology. It began in 1997 with the research vehicle NEBUS, the world’s first bus with fuel-cell drive. It continued with the Citaro (fuel-cell drive),
the Citaro G BlueTec® Hybrid (diesel-electric hybrid drive) and, in 2009, the new Citaro FuelCELL Hybrid.
The Citaro FuelCELL Hybrid is not a futuristic study; it is reality. The Mercedes-Benz Bus and Coach unit will subject the bus to stringent practical service testing as part of fleet trials. Europe-wide large-scale testing in a number of cities is planned (modelled on the successful CUTE fleet trials organised by the European Union between 2003 and 2006). Within the framework of CUTE, the continuation project HyFLEET:CUTE, and other affiliated projects, 36 Mercedes-Benz Citaro fuel-cell vehicles have been implemented successfully in twelve transport systems on three continents since 2003. The buses covered more than two million kilometres in around 135,000 operating hours. With availability levels of between 90 and 95 per cent, the environmentally friendly fuel-cell drives demonstrated to great effect their suitability for city bus operation.