Mercedes invests in urban bus electrification – 08/27/2021 – Eduardo Sodré

Heavy vehicle manufacturers invest in multiple solutions for the same problem: reducing emissions from buses and trucks. The goal is to meet stricter anti-pollution regulations.

Mercedes-Benz, which for years tested CNG (natural gas for vehicles) as an alternative to diesel, is now betting on HVO, which stands for hydrotreated vegetable oil, and on electrification.

The first option, according to the manufacturer, can be used in any type of combustion engine. It is an option for road transport, while rechargeable vehicles in outlets apply to cities.

The most important step towards electrification was taken this week, when the automaker of German origin presented its chassis for electric buses.

The eO500U is the result of an investment of R$100 million, which is included in a larger plan. The manufacturer is in a cycle of BRL 2.4 billion in investments, applied between 2018 and 2022.

The target audience is urban transport companies operating in large cities. Future legislation should force the electrification of part of the fleet, as will happen in São Paulo.

In 2027, buses circulating in the capital should present an average reduction of 50% in emissions.

The costs are high. Mercedes does not reveal values, but estimates that the electric bus will be traded for triple a diesel model of the same size.

Deliveries will start in 2022. The eO500U chassis will be capable of receiving bodies of up to 13.2 meters and will be able to carry 83 occupants (between standing and seated passengers).

The maximum power is equivalent to 380 hp, and the autonomy of the version with six battery packs allows it to run 300 kilometers between one recharge and another.

The sockets must be installed in the garages of the bus companies. In a fast system, it will take 2.5 hours to fully refuel.

With its new chassis, Mercedes-Benz will compete with the Chinese BYD, which already assembles vehicles in Campinas (São Paulo countryside).

The company estimates that each one of its electric buses represents a reduction of 118.7 tons of CO2 a year in the atmosphere, which is equivalent to the planting of 847 trees per vehicle (considering that it travels 72,000 kilometers per year).

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