If you live in Hamburg you will soon be able to get around without adding an ounce of CO2 to the atmosphere. The Hamburger Hochbahn AG has just purchased four brand new Mercedes Benz Citaro FuelCell Hybrid buses and three more will be delivered early next year.
The city, of course, already introduced its first group of hybrid buses on a test basis way back in 2003. The new Citaro FuelCell Hybrids will further this technology.
In many ways the new buses clearly reflect the massive advances that have taken place in the field of hybrid technology over the past eight years. Their lithium-ion batteries now offer energy recovery and storage, the fuel cells are more advanced and they have electrified auxiliary units.
The electric motors have been built into the wheel hubs and offer a continuous power output of 120Kw. The buses can run on battery power alone for quite a few kilometres - depending on the number of passengers they carry and the traffic.
The fuel cell stacks are fitted on top of the roof - similar to the Mercedes Benz B-Class F-Cell. They are accompanied by lithium-ion batteries to enable energy storage when the driver applies the brakes.
Thanks to improved fuel cell technology and better understanding of the process of hybridisation, the new buses use nearly 50% less hydrogen than their predecessors. Overall system efficiency has also been improved significantly from 38% to 58%. The vehicles now have a range of 250 kilometres.
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