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Along with a number of other automakers, Daimler has been working diligently to bring fuel cell technology to the road in real applications, including testing the Citaro FuelCell bus. Since 2003, a fleet of 36 first-generation hydrogen Citaros has been operating with transit authorities across Europe. In that time, the buses have accumulated 135,000 hours of operation and over 1.2 million miles.

Daimler is currently preparing to build a new fleet of 30 examples of its next-generation Citaro FuelCELL. In recognition of these efforts, the environmental ministry of the German state of Baden-Württemberg have presented Daimler with an award for its work. The award was presented at a fuel cell conference in Stuttgart earlier this week. The new buses use the same series hybrid architecture as the Citaro G Bluetec hybrid. The rear wheels are driven by hub motors with a lithium ion battery. The fuel cell operates at constant output, keeping the battery pack charged.

[Source: Daimler]

PRESS RELEASE:

Daimler Receives F-Cell Award for Application-oriented Fuel Cell Technology

Daimler has received the F-Cell Award for innovative use of fuel cell technology in the Mercedes-Benz Citaro FuelCELL Hybrid urban bus. Two employees accepted the award on behalf of Daimler last Monday during the F-Cell Conference in Stuttgart. "We are very delighted about this award as it once again highlights our innovative skill as the world's largest bus manufacturer and also helps take us a big step toward our goal of zero-emission driving," said Hartmut Schick, Head of Daimler Buses. "The award confirms that we also are the technology leader in the area of alternative drive technologies."

The F-Cell Award was presented by Baden-Württemberg's Environmental Ministry, Wirtschaftsförderung Region Stuttgart GmbH, and EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG for the ninth time. The innovation award established by the state of Baden-Württemberg honors application-oriented developments related to fuel cells.

Together with their teams, the Daimler employees Monika Kentzler and Wolfram Fleck from "E-Drive and Future Mobility" and Michael Edig from EvoBus GmbH were instrumental in the development of the Mercedes-Benz Citaro FuelCELL Hybrid. "We are proud that these three employees, as well as the many others who were involved in the project, achieved such a great feat," says Hartmut Schick. "It demonstrates how commitment and interdisciplinary cooperation can result in pioneering solutions."

The Mercedes-Benz Citaro FuelCELL Hybrid made its public debut last June at the UITP Congress in Vienna. The fuel cell hybrid bus is the first member of Daimler Buses' new generation of fuel cell buses. It combines the advantages of the diesel-electric Citaro G BlueTec Hybrid, which had been unveiled a few months earlier, with those of the hydrogen-powered Citaro fuel cell buses.

The exceptional feature of the Mercedes-Benz Citaro FuelCELL Hybrid is its outstanding environmental friendliness. The bus emits absolutely no pollutants while in motion, and it's also virtually silent, making it ideal for use in highly congested inner cities and metropolitan areas.

Later this year Daimler Buses will produce a small batch of about 30 vehicles from this new generation of fuel cell buses and offer them to European mass transit companies. The Mercedes-Benz Citaro FuelCELL Hybrid bus will undergo extensive testing in several cities throughout Europe. This test series will proceed along the lines of the successful CUTE fleet test conducted by the European Union between 2003 und 2006. Since 2003 a total of 36 Mercedes-Benz Citaro buses equipped with fuel cell drives have displayed top performance for 12 public transport agencies on three continents as part of the CUTE test and other related testing programs. In approximately 135,000 hours of operation, during which the buses covered a total of more than two million kilometers, the environmentally friendly fuel cell drive system impressively demonstrated its ability to function properly under everyday operating conditions.

The Mercedes-Benz Citaro FuelCELL Hybrid was developed within the framework of Daimler's global commercial vehicle initiative "Shaping Future Transportation." The aim of this initiative is to use clean, efficient drive systems along with alternative fuels to realize zero-emission commercial vehicles for tomorrow's transportation needs. The Shaping Future Transportation initiative includes using resources sparingly and reducing emissions of every kind while at the same time guaranteeing maximum traffic safety.


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  • 14 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is an impressive prototype.

      If GM/Toyota/Honda/Daimler/Etc. meet their cost reduction goals for fuel cells, the world will be a much less smelly place.

      Now we just need the fusion reactor project in France to succeed.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @letstakeawalk

        That is a problem that i can live with :)
        • 5 Years Ago
        Progress is continuing. The Citaro buses have been very well received by the public. Riders also feel very safe with the technology. One of the biggest issues was that the fuel cell buses tended to be more popular than the standard diesel buses - making them much more crowded because people preferred riding on the clean, quiet bus.

      • 5 Years Ago
      Kudos to M-B for sticking with impossible technology.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Not impossible, just inferior.

        Sarcasm fail.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ANDY:

        What should we call the loons on the other side that see nothing but the other technology? Open minded?
        • 5 Years Ago
        LOL, you haven't been around here recently, have you?

        • 5 Years Ago
        I suppose that after a week of being called an H2 lobbyist and a fool-cell loonie, people might not understand the humor in my making a comment that was 180 degrees from my supposed agenda?

        M-B has remained steadfast in its support of fuel cell implementation, just like GM, Ford, Honda, Toyota, BMW, Hyundai, and many smaller vehicle makers.

        http://www.theautochannel.com/news/2009/09/14/477442.html
        • 5 Years Ago
        Letstakeawalk:

        Don't pay too much attention to the rest of the idiots on this forum who think this technology doesn't work or is inferior. Like with anything else, there's a ramp up in improvements and nano-technology is going to change the way this particular technology is going to improve. This is a material science problem...not so much a design problem.

        It's great that multiple technologies are being developed in parallel....a concept that these naysayers simply cannot process with their battery powered brains....maybe it's time to recharge.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I have been around here recently, was your original comment meant as sarcasm?
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'm not surprised, because I do support fuel cell research - nothing inherently sinister about it, really. But I'm not an actual lobbyist, I'm just a guy who posts on ABG.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @letstakeawalk

        I think this may be the one topic that we both completely agree on.

        @everyone else

        The problem with fuel cells is that if you look at the setup, they are basically an ER-EV with a range extender that costs way too much and a fuel that even in its abundance won't cost less than gasoline and would require a multi billion dollar infrastructure. Anyone who reads enough about it eventually agrees, BEV is the future. That said, I like research in hydrogen fuel cells. There is something to be learned from basically everything and that, in itself, is valuable.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Letstakeawalk. Why are you suprised folks call you a lobbyist?

        Do you read your own posts?
        • 5 Years Ago
        "Impossible technology" and yet here they are making a second generation bus fleet. I love how fuel cells can't ever work, even when the proof is driving around. I suppose you would prefer diesel or LNG busses or BEV busses built by unicorns.
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