Like BYD, Mercedes-Benz now has an electric bus chassis made in Brazil. The product, called eO500U, will be used in urban areas and aimed at markets in the country, Latin America, Europe and Oceania.
Developed locally, the eO500U draws attention for being low-floor, unlike the chassis used by the Chinese manufacturer. With a range of 250 km, the Mercedes-Benz model can be charged in three hours.
The project initially aims to sell 150 to 200 units per year just to the city of São Paulo, for example, seeing this as a huge potential, as urban bus companies will increasingly increase their urban electrified fleets.
Although it makes road and charter buses, both in the form of chassis, Mercedes-Benz will not enter this segment, where a regular line between Curitiba and Ponta Grossa, in Paraná, was recently started, with electric buses from the Asian competitor.
Being able to receive bodies of 13.20 m in length, the Mercedes eO500U will be able to carry an average of 83 people per vehicle. But its price is still quite high, costing three to four times the value of a chassis with a diesel engine.
According to Mercedes-Benz, the investment will be returned in 13 years, which does not fail to draw attention, since in the city of São Paulo, urban transport vehicles cannot have more than 10 years of service.
The rule, however, must change with electrification, as pollution will remain zero until the end of the vehicle’s useful life. In the end, this may even change, doubling the term.
To develop the project here, Mercedes-Benz spent R$100 million out of a total of R$2.4 billion. Two prototypes were built and tested in Germany and soon the final product will be presented to the market for commercialization.
With Mercedes, the domestic market now has two players in the bus sector and two in trucks, all with electrical products and with export potential to the region and other continents.