Mercedes-Benz: technology for the future, innovations in security and great efficiency.

Oct 18, 2022
  • New generation of lithium ions batteries for the eCitaro
  • Technological innovations in the OC 500 RF Chassis, made in Spain
  • The new Intouro hybrid
  • Tourismo, bestselling coach in Europe

eCitaro and the new generation of NMC3 batteries

The eCitaro, launched in the year 2018, bestseller in Germany, has sold over 600 units in European cities. The eCitaro range includes two models: the 12 meters eCitaro and the 18 meters eCitaro G. There are three strategies for charging: through connectors, pantograph or through rail charge systems. There are other battery technologies as well, like solid batteries and lithium ion batteries.

The Mercedes-Benz eCitaro, on display in our stand, incorporates the new generation of the lithium ion batteries – NMC 3. The new batteries stand out for their grand energetic density. Unlike former generations, these are cylindrical cells. The improved cell’s chemistry, a pack of optimized batteries and a new battery support translate into a significant increase in the energy’s density of around a 50% with the same weight. The eCitaro’s battery packs have a modular structure and are located in the ceiling and in the backside. In the 12-meter eCitaro, it achieves a power of 588 kWh with the maximum configuration of six packages. In average conditions, the maximum configuration guarantees an autonomy of 280 km for the 12-meter eCitaro, and 220 km for the eCitaro G during the lifespan of the battery.

eMobility Service         

As manufacturers, we do not only offer vehicles to our clients. The transformation of a fleet and the path towards electro mobility is much more than the acquisition of vehicles; the transformation affects operators in an integral way. Daimler Buses offers an integral turnkey service. This means that, apart from the acquisition of the eCitaro, our experts plan the necessary infrastructure, manage the transformation of their garages and installations and plan the necessary charging infrastructures.

We have framework agreements with charging infrastructure suppliers. This way, we assure the compatibility between the charging station and the vehicle. Along with our partner IVU Traffic Technologies, we also provide the necessary software for the charging station. We complete the offer with groundbreaking digital services for the eCitaro, like follow-ups of the vehicle and the battery, as well as a consumption analysis.

In Daimler Buses, we opt for electro mobility; which is why we offer our clients everything they need in order to succeed in this transformation


New electronic technology for the OC 500 Chassis range, Made in Spain

With the new functions in the Mercedes-Benz OC 500 Chassis for Euro VI engines, Daimler Buses incorporates groundbreaking technological developments. With the emergency brake system Active Break Assist 5 and the turning assistant Sideguard Assist, unique assistance systems are being introduced. A wealth of individual measures significantly reduces fuel consumption. Drivers benefit from state-of-the-art operating systems. And even more features are available to bodybuilders.

The new chassis generation is available in the variants OC 500 RF (Raised Floor) and OC 500 LE (Low Entry), all of them made in our factory in Sámano, Cantabria.

High level of safety: Active Brake Assist 5 and Sideguard Assist. At the heart of the new generation of our Mercedes-Benz OC 500 Chassis, there is a new electrical and electronic structure, which means the cornerstone of the new assistance systems.

Presented by Mercedes-Benz in 2008, the fifth generation of the Active Brake Assist, which has undergone continuous further development since then, is once again achieving a higher level of performance. For the first time, the ABA 5 works as a combination of radar and a camera system. Within the system limits, this assistance system can initiate maximum full-stop braking for stationary and moving obstacles as part of an automated process. 

An additional function of the Active Brake Assist 5 is the Tempomat, with Adaptive Cruise Control (ART), which is available as an optional addition in the OC 500 RF chassis. It takes the strain off the driver on highways and freeways. If the assistance system detects a slower vehicle ahead, it automatically brakes the bus until a speed-dependent distance previously selected by the driver has been reached, which the system then maintains constant. With the additional Stop-and-GO function, Stop Assist (for slow traffic), the speed range of the ACC is extended to a standstill if it is equipped with the fully automated Mercedes GO 250–8 PowerShift transmission. If the vehicle is only stationary for a short time, the bus moves off again automatically when the vehicle in front starts moving.

The outstanding new safety features of the OC 500 chassis also include the optional Sideguard Assist cornering assist system with pedestrian detection.  This especially supports the driver when turning off in urban areas, and effectively protects vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists. The centerpiece is formed by two short-range radar sensors on the front passenger’s side. If there is a moving object in the monitored zone, a triangular LED lights up yellow at the driver’s eye level on the front-passenger’s side. If the sensors detect a risk of collision, the LED light also flashes red several times at a higher luminosity before it turns permanently red after two seconds. A vibration warning is also triggered in the driver’s seat. Sideguard Assist also warns of stationary obstacles along the bend. Sideguard Assist is available for all OC 500.

Maximum efficiency: considerable lower fuel consumption. Using a whole host of measures, developers are also noticeably reducing the already favorable fuel consumption and with that the emissions even further.

The optional Predictive Powertrain Control (PPC) intelligent adaptive cruise control is of great importance here. It integrates a driving style adapted to the topography into the automatic transmission and, in conjunction with the precisely tuned transmission strategy, enables noticeable fuel savings. PPC predictively accelerates the vehicle, actively uses coasting phases using EcoRoll with neutral positioning of the gearbox and automatically adapts the gear selection to the topography and road events. In addition to the satellite-based positioning system, Predictive Powertrain Control also employs precise 3D maps.

With its expanded map material, the latest generation of PPC now covers almost all extra-urban roads in Europe in addition to highways and trunk roads. PPC operates on country roads, considers intersections and traffic circles, and is networked with adaptive cruise control.

PPC avoids unnecessary braking, accelerating or shifting on winding out-of-town journeys and thereby helps the driver achieve a low wear and low fuel consumption driving style. If required, all PPC interventions can be overridden by the driver at any time by brake application or pressing on the accelerator pedal. The driver remains responsible for the bus’s journey. The prerequisite for PPC with its full range of options is the fully automated Mercedes GO 250–8 PowerShift manual transmission.

Details can also reduce fuel consumption. The intelligent on-board electrical system control with battery sensor leads to charging of the batteries, preferably in overrun or braking mode. The Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPM) shows the current tire pressure of each tire and warns if there is not an idyllic pressure.  This reduces the wear of the tire; it has a positive effect on the consumption of fuel and prevents serious tire damage. The automatic change with torque converter ZF Ecolife 2 in OC 500 LE Chassis and OC 500 RF two-axle Chassis also reduces fuel consumption.

All of this and other measures lead to a considerable reduction in fuel consumption and, consequently, a decrease of emissions. Ultimately, the exact value also depends on the individual body and the use of the completely assembled bus.

Daimler Buses takes a holistic view of economic efficiency. Because of this, all the new generation chassis are equipped from scratch with the telematics box «Bus Data Center», which serves as a transfer unit for a large amount of data. This opens up the entire world of Omniplus ON, the diverse digital services of the Omniplus service brand from Daimler Buses, now also for bus chassis. Omniplus ON networks the vehicle, driver, company and service with one another and develops added value for bus companies from this. Even free basic services create transparency with regard to important fleet data. OMNIplus Uptime is revolutionary: This service constantly monitors and checks the vehicle systems.

In addition to the technology, the driver is also the center of attention. The new optional assistance system Driver Score evaluates the driving style according to different parameters. The assistance system offers the driver current information about their driving style. The driver is able to check the needed data during driving or afterwards in the visual display. When there may be considerable deviations according to the ideal driving style, the driver receives indications in order to optimize their driving.

Traditionally, Mercedes-Benz buses highly focuses on the driver. Which reflects in the new generation of upgraded chassis. This starts right from firing up the engine, where an optionally available multifunction key replaces the conventional ignition key.

The cockpit equipment includes a multifunction steering wheel, with a rain/light sensor. Another novelty is the tools system with ergonomic disposition, which includes a central visual display. As well as the multifunctional steering wheel, this comes from a well-known brand colleague, the Mercedes-Benz Tourismo.

The standard electronic parking brake knob forms part of the dashboard. The brake means a simple management with the security. The driver activates manually the parking brake pulling the lever or pushing the “P” button. The driver can deactivate the brake stepping the accelerating pedal or pushing once again the “P” button. Optionally, the “Hold” option is integrated, and it is activated when the vehicle is stationary by stepping on the brake pedal more forcefully. The brake does not release until the driver steps on the accelerating pedal again. When moving off on hills, the system supports the driver with the standard integrated starting-off aid. Finally, the parking brake activates automatically when the bus is still and the driver disconnects the starting. This prevents the bus from rolling away unintentionally.

The new chassis generation has stood still in terms of mechanics and modules. A novelty is an additional interface between the chassis and the bodywork through the data system CAN Bus, that enables functions and additional indications. This includes, for example, a moving-off lock when the door is open, , information about open flaps in the instrument panel or a warning regarding the open door of the driver’s cab door on a scheduled-service bus on the low-entry chassis.

With its variants, the new chassis generation covers almost all applications. Two and three-axle chassis for high-floor buses with the Mercedes-Benz OM 936 and OM 470 engines, a power range from 220 kW (299 hp) to 335 kW (456 hp) and transmission variants from the Mercedes GO-190 manual transmission to the fully automated Mercedes GO 250–8 PowerShift transmission and the ZF Ecolife 2 automatic transmission with torque converter. OC 500 LE: Two‑axle chassis for low-entry buses, Mercedes-Benz OM 936 engine, performance 220 kW (299 hp) or 260 kW (354 hp), ZF Ecolife 2 converter automatic transmission.

All versions of the OC 500 are available as left-hand and right-hand drive vehicles, all engines comply with the current Euro VI E emissions standard. 

Even more efficient, the new Mercedes-Benz Intouro hybrid

Electro mobility has many facets. While the emphasis is on all-electric drive systems for urban traffic, Daimler Buses opts for the Intouro with hybrid module in the intercity range, with the main goal of reducing even more the fuel consumption and protecting the environment. The hybrid module is available for every two-axel models with automatic transmission.

The new Intouro hybrid it is not only perfect for intercity travels, but also for more applications, like school transport, short trips or field trips.

Thanks to its hybrid technology, there are considerable advantages in its fuel consumption since it optimizes the internal combustion engine, which is already affordable thanks to its low carbon emissions, which protect the environment.

The basic Intouro hybrid function is relatively simple: an additional electric engine works as an alternator during the vehicle’s braking and overrun phases, converting braking energy into electricity. This current is stored and is available to the electric motor to support the combustion engine, especially when moving off, but also when accelerating.

The current generated by recuperation is stored in double-layer capacitors, also known as supercaps. These electric energy storage units are characterized by a high power density. They are not sensitive to high power peaks and have a long service life. In contrast to batteries, supercaps are ideal for the constant and rapid changes between charge and discharge when stopping and starting. The Intouro hybrid only needs a single braking maneuver from 50 km/h to a standstill to charge the energy storage units.

Another additional advantage in the Intouro hybrid is that it does not need a complex high-voltage network which has its own necessary restrictions and safety requirements. The intercity bus counts with a separated net of 48 volts. This is classed as low-voltage technology and is safe to use. The unmodified auxiliary assemblies are driven conventionally. The required installation space is small, the outline remains unchanged, as does the interior – no passenger seats are lost.

Drivers behind the steering wheel of the Intouro hybrid will not be able to tell a difference when handling the vehicle or even during operations. Even the tools’ dashboard is identical. Which means that is not necessary doing any training.

Mercedes-Benz Tourismo, 28 years and more than 30.000 units sold

Ever since its launch in1994, the Mercedes-Benz Tourismo has become the best-selling coach in Europe. It is the third generation the one that is on European roads currently. The presumptions of the best-selling coach in Europe were ambitious: maximum efficiency, security, functionality and comfort. All through these years, the Tourismo has been evolving and renewing itself, becoming the bus with the most constant and reduced consumption, the best payload, the best maneuverability, with the most solid finish and a grand number of driving assistance systems.

The Tourismo RHD is a bus that operators, drivers and passengers enjoy. Suited for long-distance lines, trips, field trips, school transport, shuttles… making the Tourismo a star amongst operators.

The Tourismo is a true Mercedes-Benz and one can tell in the security equipment: Active Brake Assist 4 (ABA 4), Sideguard Assist, cruise distance control, Attention Assist (AtAs); these are only a few examples of the security technology in the Tourismo.

The Tourismo impresses because of its efficiency. Its cornerstone is the Mercedes-Benz OM 470 of six cylinders in line with a cylinder capacity of 10, 7 l. The engine with 335 kW (456 CV) combines a high driving dynamic with a low fuel consumption. The engine is also available in 260 kW, 290 kW and 315 kW. The efficiency in the fuel consumption of the Tourismo is not just simple theory. In the “EcoChamp”, that the two-axel Tourismo showed that it consumes under 20 liters in 100 kms, in a real route and under real conditions. The result was under 22 liters in 100 kms for the Tourismo L.