Presented as the automaker’s first step in Brazil towards electromobility, a Mercedes-Benz revealed this Wednesday (25) that it is developing electric bus chassis for circulation in urban centers in the country, as well as neighboring markets on the continent to which the automaker intends to export the technology.
The result of investments of R$ 100 million, which are part of the R$ 2.4 billion cycle of the brand in the country between 2018 and 2022, the project is being carried out by teams from the São Bernardo do Campo factory, where the vehicle will be produced , with the support of engineers from Daimler, which owns the brand, at Germany, where prototypes are already being tested. The plan is to start selling the product next year.
During the announcement, Karl Deppen, president of Mercedes-Benz’s Brazilian operation, argued that the speed of introduction of new technologies in the country depends on investments in infrastructure, such as battery charging stations.
“For the technological benefits applied to urban mobility to be added to the social and economic development of cities, it is essential that Brazil and Latin America also prepare their infrastructure for the operation of electric vehicles”, commented Deppen.
According to Roberto Leoncini, the assembler’s vice president of sales and marketing, Mercedes preferred to electrify the buses first because an urban collective vehicle has fewer restrictions than trucks, where the lack of a national recharge network makes the use of the technology over long distances.
The battery of the electric bus to be launched by Mercedes allows the vehicle to travel 250 kilometers without needing to be recharged.
“We chose to start with urban bus chassis because it impacts more people and society than the electric truck, which has infrastructure restrictions for operation,” said the executive. “Electric truck comes at the right time, it’s another discussion we’ll have in the future,” he added.