Locally emission-free electric drive systems, low-emission gas and diesel engines – clean trucks, buses and vans

  • Electrically powered trucks, buses and vans: world premieres, customer operation and series launches
  • Gas drive: stepping on the gas with the Citaro NGT, Econic and – new – the Actros NGT
  • Diesel engine: fuel consumption and emissions further reduced

Innovative electric drive systems across all divisions and continents, the new Actros NGT as a further model series with gaseous-fuel drive, systematically optimised diesel engines – Daimler continues to invest considerable energy in the further development of environmentally compatible drive systems. One example of this work is the new, global E-Mobility Group at Daimler Trucks & Buses. Its employees are to be found at numerous locations across the company's global network, for example in Portland/USA, Stuttgart/Germany and Kawasaki/Japan.

At the IAA Daimler is presenting several series-produced or series-ready electric vehicle models in the form of the Mercedes-Benz eVito, eSprinter and eCitaro, the FUSO eCanter and the 'Jouley' from Thomas Built Buses. The eActros is already in operation with customers and proving its worth in everyday practice. The Concept Sprinter F-CELL and the E-FUSO Vision One both provide insights into the electric future.

Mercedes-Benz eActros: customer innovation fleet in operation

At the IAA two years ago, Mercedes-Benz Trucks was the first manufacturer in the world to show a heavy-duty electric truck. The technology leader has now moved on a step with its comprehensively refined Mercedes-Benz eActros, which celebrated its world premiere in February this year: its deployment with customers began a short while ago. By the end of the year, the customer innovation fleet will comprise ten eActros vehicles. Series production of the eActros is planned to commence in 2021.

The key features of the eActros are eleven battery packs in the frame area and underneath the vehicle, with a total usable capacity of 240 kWh, and a drive system involving wheel hub-mounted electric motors with a maximum output of 2 x 126 kW. The additional weight of around 2.5 tonnes compared with a conventional drive system is offset in part by the increase of a tonne in the permissible GVW for trucks with alternative drive systems in the EU. At 200 km, the range of the eActros is sufficient, for example, for the typical daily driving requirement in the food distribution sector for fresh food deliveries to supermarkets.

FUSO eCanter: standard-production manufacture, worldwide deployment

The FUSO eCanter is our first series-produced light-duty truck with all-electric drive. It is already serving a range of customers in six major cities in North America, Europe and Asia - locally emission-free and virtually silent. The six batteries of this light-duty truck, which deliver a total output of 82.8 kWh, make ranges of more than 100 km possible. In many cases this is sufficient to more than meet the daily driving needs of customers in inner-city distribution operations. The electric motor has an output of 129 kW. The FUSO eCanter has a payload of up to 3.5 tonnes, depending on the body and application. The FUSO eCanter for around 30 markets in Europe and the USA is produced in Tramagal/Portugal. The FUSO eCanter for the Japanese market is produced in the Mitsubishi FUSO plant in Kawasaki.

Already an established feature of everyday life on the road is the Canter Eco Hybrid. Its powerful hybrid drive system with energy recuperation, standard engine start/stop function and dual-clutch transmission make it possible to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by as much as 23 percent – a hybrid drive system that is truly a proven investment. Thanks to its moderate purchase price and low maintenance costs, the Canter Eco Hybrid has become a popular vehicle for fleets and is in operation with major European customers in hybrid fleets of up to 100 units.

A glimpse of the future is offered at the IAA by the E-FUSO Vision One, which provides a realistic vision of an all-electric heavy-duty truck under the brand name E-FUSO. Thanks to a battery capacity of 300 kWh, this three-axle model for the distribution transport sector will achieve a range of up to 350 km. The grouping of all relevant vehicles under the separate product brand E-FUSO indicates just how seriously FUSO is taking the issue of electric drive systems.

USA: the E-school bus poised for series production

In North America, too, Daimler Trucks is pushing forward with the development of electric drive systems. One example at the IAA is the first all-electric school bus from Thomas Built Buses. Small-series production of the "Saf-T-Liner C2 Electric Bus", known for short as the "Jouley", is due to start early next year. With a capacity of 160 kWh, its battery allows a range of up to 160 km. This can be further extended by the addition of further battery modules.


Mercedes-Benz eCitaro: start of series production in 2018

World premiere for the new all-electric-powered Mercedes-Benz eCitaro, the vehicle that takes electric mobility with city buses to a whole new level. It offers an impressive and unprecedented standard in energy efficiency, courtesy of its innovative thermal management system. With a battery capacity of 243 kWh, space for up to 88 passengers, a high level of efficiency and its wheel hub-mounted electric motors, the eCitaro is already the ideal vehicle for a considerable proportion of the operations undertaken by city buses today. In just a few short years, it will be able to replace completely the combustion engine with unique battery technology and a fuel cell as a range extender.

The new eCitaro is an integral part of the eMobility system at Daimler Buses. This eMobility system supports transport operators with everything from in-depth consulting services, an intelligent charge management system and the training of their employees through to the provision of specific services. The overall package is a compelling offer: even before the vehicle goes into series production this autumn, orders have been received for several dozen eCitaro from customers in Germany and abroad.

Mercedes-Benz Vans: world premiere of the eSprinter, eVito is already pre-orderable, Sprinter F-CELL concept as a glimpse of the future

The Mercedes-Benz eSprinter also celebrated its world premiere in February this year. A battery capacity of 55 kWh makes for an anticipated range of around 150 kilometres with a maximum payload of 900 kg. With the second battery option customers can set other priorities. Batteries with a capacity of 41 kWh allow a range of around 115 km, while the maximum payload in this case increases to 1040 kg. The electric drive system in the eSprinter has an output of 85 kW. Its top speed can be configured to a maximum of 80 km/h, 100 km/h or 120 km/h. The eSprinter is due to be launched in 2019.

Available from autumn 2018 is the Mercedes-Benz eVito. This is a model that proves that electrified models can be competitive and, depending on their use, comparable with combustion engines in terms of costs. A battery capacity of 41 kWh makes for a range of around 150 km. Even in unfavourable conditions, it will offer a range of 100 km. The drive system has an output of 85 kW here, too.

Extensive use of the eVAN Ready App underpins the positive feedback from customers. The app offers a way of testing online whether electric models could have a role to play in a company's fleet. New ideas for fleet management are offered by the digital services available from Mercedes PRO connect. These cover aspects of service and maintenance, as well as driving style analysis. In addition, Mercedes-Benz Vans offers opportunities for intelligent load management in order to keep an eye on each vehicle's state of charge.

In the medium-term future, the powertrain portfolio will be extended by addition of the fuel cell. The merits of this technology are demonstrated by the Concept Sprinter F-CELL, which combines fuel-cell and battery technology in a plug-in hybrid. The combination of battery and fuel cell results in an electric output of around 147 kW. Three tanks in the substructure can hold a total of 4.5 kg of hydrogen, enough for a range of around 300 km. If a bigger range is required, a further tank can be installed at the rear to increase the range to as much as 530 km.

Gas drive: stepping on the gas with the Citaro NGT, Econic and – new – the Actros NGT

Around a quarter fewer CO2 emissions in operation with natural gas, almost CO2-neutral when using bio-natural gas, plus low noise emissions and no particulate emissions of any kind – gas engines have clear benefits if vehicle operators want to reduce emissions rapidly. The Mercedes-Benz Citaro NGT city bus and the Econic waste disposal and distribution truck are two models that are already successfully offered with a gas engine. They each feature the state-of-the-art, six-cylinder, charged M 936 G in-line engine, which has an output of 222 kW (302 hp).

The third vehicle to join this line-up is the Actros NGT with gas engine and torque-converter automatic transmission. This model is available as a solo vehicle with two or three axles and is a welcome alternative when it comes to heavy-duty distribution haulage with daily routes of up to 250 km. Its highly stable tanks made of steel and composite material carry 4 x 145 litres of gas, which can be supplemented by a further 4 x 100 litres of gas as an option.

Diesel engine: fuel consumption and emissions further reduced

Unrivalled economic efficiency, excellent range, easy availability of fuel, simple and fast refuelling, fuel consumption and emissions getting lower and lower – yes, we're talking about the diesel engine. In a parallel process to the ongoing new developments in electric drive systems, further development of the diesel engine continues unabated at Mercedes-Benz.

The new Mercedes-Benz Actros, for example, uses up to three percent less fuel on motorway runs than its predecessor, while on cross-country routes the saving can be as much as five percent. The key factors behind this achievement include the further development of Predictive Powertrain Control, improved aerodynamics through the use of MirrorCam instead of exterior mirrors, and a longer ratio for the drive axle.

The advances made by the Mercedes-Benz Tourismo touring coaches and the double-decker Setra S 531 DT by comparison with their predecessors are even greater. The emphasis here is on aerodynamically optimised bodies and the use of the very latest generation of engines. When taken in conjunction with other details, this can result in consumption benefits in the double-digit percentage range. The Citaro hybrid's fuel consumption is up to 8.5 percent lower than that of the conventional drive system. It is also making its first appearance at an IAA. In this case the hybrid module, featuring innovative 48-volt technology, plays a key part in the optimisation of the diesel engine.

The engineers have also exploited the potential for further optimisation in the various engine and transmission variants of the new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. The efficiency measures aimed at lower fuel consumption range from reduced in-engine friction and optimised injection to the use of tyres with minimised rolling resistance. In addition, a particularly economical front-wheel drive variant has been added to the well-proven rear and all-wheel drive of the new Sprinter.