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record for fuel-cell buses: one million kilometers completed
- 70,000 hours in operation,
nearly five million passengers transported
- Positive interim results with
first fleet tests of fuel-cell city buses worldwide
- Prof. Dr. Herbert Kohler:
The buses have demonstrated the re-liability of
Stuttgart, Oct 18, 2005 Since 2003,
30 Mercedes-Benz Citaro city buses with fuel-cell drive have been
in operation in Europe within the framework of the CUTE fuel-cell
bus project with support from the EU; three more are in service
every day in Australia. Meanwhile, these 33 buses have together
clocked up a total of 70,000 operating hours and passed the mark
of one million kilometers a performance that by far
surpasses all previous trials of fuel-cell buses.
Prof. Herbert Kohler, Head of the
Vehicle Body and Drive Systems Directorate and DaimlerChrysler
Environmental Officer, stated: The buses have convincingly
demonstrated the reliability and robustness of fuel-cell drive in
various climatic zones and topographies. They have withstood the
winter cold of Reykjavik and Stockholm as well as the heat of
Madrid. They have performed well in flat terrain as well as with
gradients of up to eight percent in Oporto and Stuttgart.
At the end of 2001,
DaimlerChrysler together with the major European cities of
Amsterdam, Barcelona, Hamburg, London, Luxembourg, Madrid,
Oporto, Stockholm and Stuttgart and various infrastructure com-panies
started the CUTE project (Clean Urban Transport for Europe).
Three more buses are on the road as a part of the ECTOS project (Ecological
City Transport System), also supported by the EU, and
another three buses are operating in Perth, the capital of
Western Australia. Before the end of this year, three more
Mercedes-Benz Citaros with fuel-cell drive will be in service on
the streets of Beijing. The first part of the project will be
completed by the end of 2005.
The trials have given the
developers of the fuel-cell stack valuable in-formation for the
extension of fuel-cell lifetimes. The performance of the current
generation of stacks is well above expectations: more than 2,000
operating hours without any power losses. This brings fuel-cell
lifetimes even closer to those of conventional gasoline and
The quiet hum of progress
These clean city buses run very
quietly. A white cloud of steam from their roofs betrays their
drive system. The principle of fuel-cell drive is simple, highly
efficient, and is becoming ever more practical for mobile
applications. Fuel cells generate energy from the reaction
between hydrogen and oxygen to create water. They work with a
high degree of efficiency and emit only pure steam. A fuel-cell
system with a power output of more than 200 kW and pres-surized
gas bottles are installed on the vehicles roof. Hydrogen is
used to generate electricity, which operates the 200 kW electric
motor. The buses accommodate 70 passengers and have a range of
about 200 kilometers. Their top speed is 80 kilometers per hour.
Optimal efficiency combined
with good ride comfort
DaimlerChrysler is a pioneer and
leading player in the development of fuel cells for the
automobile. More than ten years ago, the Group presented the
worlds first fuel-cell vehicle NECAR 1. Since then,
the technology has been further developed with numerous concept
vehicles. In addition to the 33 buses, 60 Mercedes-Benz A-Class
F-Cell cars are in daily use with customers all over
the world. In the United States, UPS delivers parcels with fuel-cell
Sprinters; in Singapore, Tokyo, Germany and the United States,
customers are testing the A-Class F-Cell in fleet use
every day. In total, more than 100 Daimler-Chrysler fuel-cell
vehicles are in use more than from any other manufacturer.