Mercedes-Benz Bus and Coach unit receives support from the German Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Affairs (BMVBS) for the development, research and testing of the first small fleet of diesel hybrid urban buses with electric drive capability. The ministry (BMVBS) signed a letter of intent for this purpose yesterday.
The BMVBS has named eight model regions for future pilot projects for the "Electromobility Model Regions" support programme. The selected regions qualified during a call for bids and were chosen out of 130 applications for the pilot projects. The support programme, which is being funded with 115 million euros from the Economic Package II, provides targeted funds for the testing and accelerated market preparation of electrically operated vehicles until 2011. The projects must however be started by the end of 2010.
The Electromobility Support Programme allows for the further development and testing of the Mercedes-Benz Citaro G BlueTec® Hybrid articulated bus. That means that ease of maintenance, costs and the technical maturity of the innovative drive technology can be continually optimised as a result. The drive technology for the Mercedes-Benz Citaro G BlueTec® Hybrid is the only concept for buses currently being introduced to the public which is capable of driving several kilometres on pure electric power. Hartmut Schick, Head of Daimler Buses, explained: "Mercedes-Benz Citaro G BlueTec® Hybrid is making an important contribution to turning electromobility in Germany into a reality. We would like to use this initiative to further expand our technological leadership in the bus sector".