DaimlerChrysler Hands Over
Zero-Emission Fuel Cell Buses
in Perth, Western Australia

Mercedes-Benz Citaro Fuel Cell bus
Mercedes-Benz Citaro Fuel Cell bus

14th September, 2004

Commuters in Perth, Western Australia, will be able to ride in zero-emission fuel cell buses this month following the handover to the Western Australian Government of three Mercedes-Benz Citaro city buses with fuel cell drive by DaimlerChrysler.

The handover coincides with the Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Futures Conference taking place in Perth this week. The Mercedes-Benz Citaro city bus with zero-emission technology will be operated by Path Transit, the local public transport authorities in Perth, for two years.

The handover of the fuel cell buses complements DaimlerChrysler’s longstanding supply of buses for use in Perth’s public transport infrastructure. The company is currently half way through its fulfillment of an order that calls for more than 800 buses over ten years.

DaimlerChrysler has provided the three Hydrogen-powered Mercedes-Benz Citaro fuel cell buses to Perth as part of the Company’s worldwide roadmap to sustainable mobility. These buses are part of a fleet of 30 fuel cell buses DaimlerChrysler has in operation in ten European cities in order to gain real world experience in day-to-day operation in its pursuit of viable emission-free mobility solutions.

DaimlerChrysler is a pioneer in fuel cell development, and since the early 90’s has produced 20 research vehicles and prototypes.

This year DaimlerChrysler will deliver 60 hydrogen fuel cell vehicles based on the Mercedes-Benz A-Class, to customers for field testing. First vehicles are already in operation in Germany, Japan, Singapore and the U.S.

By the end of the year, DaimlerChrysler will have more than 100 fuel cell vehicles on the road, more than any other vehicle manufacturer.

Mercedes-Benz Citaro with fuel cell drive

The zero-emission and low-noise operation of these buses is a significant advantage especially in urban traffic. Dr. Thomas Weber, the DaimlerChrysler board member with responsibility for Research and Technology and Development Mercedes Car Group: ”Passengers will be quite taken by the low noise levels and high comfort of this bus as it cruises through the city – and it’s completely emission-free in operation. City bus operation is the ideal proving ground for testing the fuel cell as a vehicle propulsion system for the future under real-world conditions.”

The key challenge in the future will lie in further reducing costs as well as in improving long-term operational reliability. This calls for global cooperative ventures in fuel cell development – which is why DaimlerChrysler initiated, among other things, the California Fuel Cell Partnership and is involved in the Japan Hydrogen Fuel Cell Demonstration Project with the goal of successful ongoing development.

The twelve-meter-long Mercedes-Benz Citaro with fuel cell drive has a range of approximately 200 kilometers and a capacity for up to 70 passengers, depending on individual customer specifications. The fuel cell unit with an output of 250 kilowatts and the pressure cylinders containing hydrogen that is compressed to 350 bar are accommodated on the roof of the Citaro bus. The latter’s top speed is 80 km/h. The electric motor (200 kW) and the automatic transmission are located in the rear of the bus. Two doors without steps, a consistently low-floor passenger compartment and low-noise operation ensure that passengers can enjoy agreeable and comfortable rides in local public transport.

From prototype to small series

The Mercedes-Benz Citaro with fuel cell drive obtained a general operating permit for line service. It is manufactured under series-production conditions at the DaimlerChrysler plant in Mannheim and is subject to the relevant certification processes including proof of quality assurance. In technical terms, it is the successor to the NEBUS (New Electric Bus), a prototype based on the Mercedes-Benz O 405 regular-service city bus, which was introduced in 1997. Since then, it has been demonstrating its performance in several cities throughout the world.

With the current generation of Mercedes-Benz Citaro city buses, fuel cell technology is now leaving the research stage and taking a crucial step ahead in the direction of economic efficiency and serviceability.

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