THE Mercedes-Benz announced this week its first initiative in electric mobility for public transport in Brazil. The German automaker presented the eO500U electric bus chassis, which is being developed in the country and will start sales in 2022.
The project is being carried out at the factory in São Bernardo do Campo (SP), where the electric bus will be produced, with the support of engineers from Daimler, in Germany. The amount invested is R$100 million, part of a R$2.4 billion program for the 2018-2022 period.
Development is in its final phase and Mercedes is working on defining the business model, which will be similar, in part, to that adopted by Volkswagen with the e-Delivery electric truck. The company anticipates that the bus will be sold together with a consultation for the customer who wants to adopt electrification in their fleet, including financing, technical assistance and supply of chargers.
Karl Deppen, president of Mercedes-Benz do Brasil, believes that urban passenger transport is ideal for starting the energy transition here, taking advantage of the expertise of the company in Germany and preparing the country to export the electric bus chassis to other countries in Latin America, with the possibility of reaching other continents.
“We are entering a new era, a new milestone in the trajectory of Mercedes-Benz in Brazil. But the eO500U is just our first step on the path to electromobility here. We want to offer customers a complete solution,” says Karl Deppen.
According to the executive, the electric bus is the first and most logical step to start electric mobility in transport, which should also expand to trucks, something that has not yet been scheduled.
“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”.
“Electric truck comes at the right time, it’s another discussion we’ll have in the future,” he added.
It is the first urban electric bus with standard measures produced in Brazil, with 13.2 meters in length, low floor and capacity for up to 83 passengers. The eO500U is equipped with two electric motors, one on each rear wheel, for a peak power of 380hp and constant power of 250hp.
The four battery modules offer a range of 250 km and can be recharged in 2 and a half hours on direct current. The model can receive two additional packs and extend the range to 300 km and like other electric buses, the vehicle can also recover energy from braking and deceleration.
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