by Adrian-Liviu Dorofte

SWEG takes its first Euro VI buses into service

Modern, environment-friendly regular-service buses operate throughout the entire network of routes served by the SWEG passenger transport company. Also in town centres, the bus plays a special role. It stands for sustainable thinking, economy, safety and comfort. The Citaro with its Euro VI-compliant engine is the embodiment of a modern and, above all, environmentally aware bus service. This is a bus that is wholeheartedly accepted by the population while at the same time constituting the backbone of the local public passenger transport system. In the presence of Baden-Württemberg’s transport minister, Winfried Hermann, and the chief executive of Ortenau administrative district, Frank Scherer, Tammo Voigt, Head of Public Transport Fleet Sales at Mercedes-Benz Buses & Coaches, officially handed over four Mercedes-Benz Citaro Euro VI buses on 12 June to Johannes Müller, spokesman for the board of SWEG. This procurement delivers yet further proof of the company’s commitment to sustainability. For it was only in September of last year that SWEG took two Citaro G BlueTec Hybrid buses into service, since when the vehicles have been in daily operation on bus routes in the town of Offenburg.

“Three Lions in Motion” design concept

One of the four Citaros is a design concept based on the visual appearance of some rail vehicles that will be in future service in Baden-Württemberg. True to the slogan “SWEG with Three Lions in Motion”, the striking design of the bus proudly sports the regional colours of Baden-Württemberg both inside and outside: signal yellow and white. Set off with halftone “Staufer lions” at the sides, the exterior of the Citaro design concept reflects the heraldic devices of the regional coat of arms. The interior, too, boasts the colours and devices of the state of Baden-Württemberg. The dark fabrics of the passenger seats are resplendent with the lion emblem, sometimes with a yellow outline, sometimes with a light-grey one. The signal-yellow grab rails form a contrast to the otherwise dark-toned interior.

The Mercedes-Benz Citaro Euro VI

The two-door rigid bus with horizontal engine combines the Euro VI exhaust emissions standard with a multiplicity of unique features.

This Citaro is powered by the new OM 936h rear-mounted six-cylinder in-line engine with 7.7 litre displacement, a power rating of 220 kW (299 hp) and a maximum torque of 1200 Nm. The engine already complies with the Euro VI exhaust emissions standard. Power is transferred by the ZF Ecolife six-speed automatic transmission. The abundant torque from the engine is an ideal match for the standard rear axle ratio of i = 5.77, which is almost 10% longer-legged than in the Citaro with the previous Euro V engine. This reduces the engine speed and therefore also the fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and driving noise.

Fuel economy

The new Citaro’s outstanding fuel economy is assured, among other things, by a recuperation module (24 volts), which allows the regular-service bus to save fuel in that the free electricity generated on overrun is stored and used to operate the vehicle’s electrical accessories. This reduces the load on the drivetrain and lowers fuel consumption.

The energy storage function is performed by “supercaps”, double-layer capacitors, with a power rating of 6 kW and a capacity of 1 Ah. This process alone reduces the Citaro’s fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by more than 2%.

In the Record Run Buses 2012, the Euro VI engine impressively demonstrated its clear superiority in terms of fuel economy over the already highly fuel-efficient Euro V engine. With a fuel saving of 8.5% in a head-to-head with the comparable predecessor model, the Citaro with Euro VI engine exceeded even the promises of the Mercedes-Benz engineers.

SWEG – at the service of the South West

Modern and regional – that, in a nutshell, is how SWEG sees itself. The passenger transport company’s bus and rail services extend from Weil am Rhein and Lörrach in the south of Baden-Württemberg to the area around Bad Mergentheim in the north-east of the state. The modern fleet comprises some 300 of the company’s own buses and 50 leased units. Every year, approximately 30 vehicles are replaced, involving a capital expenditure of around seven million euros. The majority of vehicles comply with the exacting EEV exhaust emissions standard (Enhanced Environmentally Friendly Vehicle).

SWEG carried 61.3 million bus and rail passengers in 2012 together with its ten public transport companies and five subsidiaries. With a staff of 780, the company is an important employer in the region. Its traditionally good image helps SWEG to win broad acceptance among the population.

Credits: Daimler AG

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