For the climate: huge potential for improvement with e-mobility in local public transport


Hundreds of thousands of diesel buses with obsolete technology can still be found on Europe roads.

At the same time, the number of electric buses is increasing significantly. No wonder electromobility is accelerating. After all, the calls for sustainable mobility are getting louder and louder. MAN Truck and Bus offers the right solution for the urban traffic of tomorrow thanks to its MAN Lion’s City 12 E and fully electric articulated 18 E bus.

When technology meets demand: sales of electric buses increase in the European Union

According to ACEA, some 700,000 buses with an average age of almost 12 years are in service across the EU

Low emissions to zero emissions: Municipalities must lead the way towards sustainable mobility. MAN Lion’s City E offers emission-free local public transport

This fully electric city bus from MAN is making waves everywhere Europe and impressive for its range, reliability and suitability for everyday use

Electromobility electrifies more and more people. This is clearly seen in the growing number of electric vehicles registered. However, electric mobility is not only increasing for individual transport. More and more local public transport operators are betting on electric vehicles, as the latest figures from the European Association of Automobile Manufacturers (ACEA). Based on the number of registered buses, ACEA reports that sales of electric buses in the EU increased by 18.4% year-on-year from 2019 to 2020. In contrast, the proportion of diesel engines declined by nearly by 10% during this period (source: “ACEA bus by type of fuel, full year 2020” March 30, 2021). “Overall, the European electric bus market had over 2,000 vehicles last year. And the trend is clearly on the rise, ”says Rudi kuchta, the head of the Bus Business Unit at Man Truck & Bus. “We predict that half of all new MAN city buses will run on alternative fuels by 2025.”

Despite the growing number of electric buses, their diesel-powered counterparts still make up the vast majority of buses on EU roads. According to ACEA, there were more than 690,000 buses in 2019, with an average age of 11.7 years. Fully 94.5% of them were diesel and only 0.6% purely electric (source: ACEA ‘Vehicles in use, Europe‘report, published January 2021). “The figures and our experience show that electromobility is accelerating. At the same time, it is clear that there is still enormous potential. If diesel buses with obsolete technology are replaced by modern electric buses, it will contribute enormously to reducing CO2 emissions, ”says Kuchta. “It is a central element in the fight against climate change. The proof is clear: if a bus travels on average 50,000 to 60,000 kilometers per year and consumes between 36 and 49 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (5.8 to 7.8 MPG) depending on its use, topography and type of vehicle, the public transport to an electric bus producing no emissions can save around 60 to 80 tonnes of CO2 per year compared directly to a diesel bus and using the current electric mix.

Buses are already considered the most environmentally friendly and cost effective mode of transport. However, it is up to local public transport operators and local communities to further reduce CO2 emissions and thus contribute to climate protection. The European Union also recognized this by adopting its directive on clean vehicles. This sets binding emission standards for local bus fleets and has been in force since August 2021. Municipalities must therefore lead the way towards emission-free mobility. The goal: to go from low emissions to zero emissions. “A growing number of public transport companies have understood this and are only considering battery-powered city buses in new acquisitions. Either that or they set clear target dates for converting their entire fleet to emission-free drives, ”says Kuchta. An example of this is Hamburg-The Holstein public transport operator VHH, which since 2020 has been buying exclusively local, zero-emission battery buses. The goal is to convert the entire bus fleet to zero-emission propulsion systems as much as possible by 2030.

To best support transport operators towards emission-free mobility, MAN Truck and Bus offers an all-inclusive concept including comprehensive e-mobility advice and tailor-made and forward-looking solutions. After all, for MAN, too, the future of urban mobility is electric. “We are convinced that electromobility is the key technology for the utility vehicles of the future. This is why we work with our customers to advance technologies and progress even further, ”says Kuchta. This is based on the MAN Lion’s City E, which can provide a fully electric solution for local public transport.

For months, the MAN Lion’s City E has been proving its worth in more and more cities across Europe how well it can cope with city traffic and how easy it is to fit into existing operations. During a MAN test drive at Munich in May of this year, it also managed to exceed the 550 kilometer mark to drive in realistic daily conditions on a single charge. “The issue of distance also plays an important role for our customers. In fact, a single electric vehicle must be able in the future to take over from the lines currently served by a thermal engine vehicle. During the MAN Efficiency Run, our e-bus impressively demonstrated how suitable electromobility is already for everyday use, ”explains Kuchta. Indeed, even with a realistic range of “only” 400 kilometers in regular use, the bus was able to cover 98% of the routes served by MAN customers – without having to recharge its batteries along the way. It can then be recharged at the depot, with the added benefit that operators do not need to invest in additional recharging infrastructure elsewhere in the city.

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