MAN Truck & Bus began series production of battery-powered city buses in October at its plant in Starachowice, Poland.
The first customer vehicles to come off the line are 12-meter solo versions of the Lion’s City E: 17 of these will be heading for Hamburg-Holstein’s public transit agency. Malmö, Sweden has placed an order for 22 units. The articulated version of the Lion’s City E should go into series production in the first half of 2021.
The all-electric MAN Lion’s City E will be built on the same production line as the company’s legacy buses, despite the large differences between the electric and diesel models. MAN says 30 to 40% of the body shell alone is different, to say nothing of the electric driveline, batteries and other high-voltage components. As part of the production preparation process in Starachowice, new systems had to be purchased or existing ones upgraded, processes had to be re-engineered, and 3,500 employees went through extensive training.
The first two MAN e-buses went into service in Hamburg at the end of 2019, and the MAN demo fleet has been undergoing extensive field trials in scheduled service in Germany, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands and France.
MAN’s electric buses have also been undergoing extensive extreme-weather testing. The Lion’s City E showed off its ability to withstand temperatures of minus 30 degrees C above the Arctic Circle, and also braved the heat of the Sierra Nevada in Badajoz, Spain. In summer temperatures of over 35 degrees C, the new e-buses completed a full 16-hour shift, covering an entire 284 km route.
“The results of summer testing show that our electric bus clearly meets the ambitious targets we have set for important issues such as heating and air conditioning,” says Jörg Junginger, Head of Engineering Bus Vehicle Testing. “The longitudinal dynamics of the bus have also undergone extensive testing to ensure that passengers always have a safe and comfortable journey, even in the event of significant inclination and power requests.”
Source: MAN Truck & Bus