Daimler Buses installs central charging station for the fully-electric eCitaro

The charging station is compatible with 150 kW cable-bound charging, 300 kW rapid charging using a pantograph and 300 kW rapid charging using an inverted pantograph

Buses, Daimler, Charging station
Daimler AG

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Daimler Buses has equipped its Mannheim bus plant with a central charging station for the fully-electric eCitaro. It can also be used to provide the newly released eCitaro with electricity via a pantograph. The special feature of this charging station is that the charging devices are suspended at a height of around five metres above the ground. The station serves to charge the eCitaro as part of the production process and ahead of delivery to customers. Plus, new charging technologies such as charging management, new communications protocols, new hardware for charging using a cable or a roof-mounted pantograph can be tried and tested.

The charging station is compatible with all common charging technologies: 150 kW cable-bound charging, 300 kW rapid charging using a pantograph on the bus roof and 300 kW rapid charging using a permanently installed set of charging rails on the roof of the bus. In technical jargon, the latter is referred to as an inverted pantograph.

All four parking bays are setup to handle the particularly common cable-bound charging of the eCitaro. And in line with this, it can handle the different charging systems of two manufacturers. Using them, buses can be charged with an output of 150 kW. Two parking bays additionally offer rapid charging via the vehicle roof; one uses a pantograph, the other uses charging rails. In both cases, the charging output is 300 kW. The entire system has a modular design to ensure that it can be expanded as required.

There were several reasons which led to the decision to set up the central electric charging station within the plant's premises. After leaving the production line, each new eCitaro is put through a comprehensive series of tests, both at the company's own test track and on public roads – and the pre-requisite for completing this intense series of checks, which are incidentally also part of the regular Citaro's production process, is of course a charged battery. At the charging station, the focus is on testing both charging via the roof and the vehicle's own technology. The checks for road approval-relevant aspects already take place before the test drives. Also charged here ahead of their company-internal test drives are test vehicles and new technologies. Lastly, customers visiting the plant can also stop by at the electric charging station and read the information panels there regarding the various charging technologies as well as seeing them in use first-hand.

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