Diesel-Bus Citaro – E-Bus-Retrofit-Umrüstung von in-tech auf Elektromobilität – Elektrobus e-trofit

Diesel-Bus Citaro – E-Bus-Retrofit-Umrüstung von in-tech auf Elektromobilität – Elektrobus e-trofit

Hi everyone, I am at eMove360 today, a trade show for eMobility. Im am at the booth of in-tech from Munich together with Matthias Kerler, he is the technical leader for this project. What we see here is a Citaro bus from the city of Landshut, Hard to believe, but this bus is 15 years old and used to drive with a diesel engine. This bus has been taken out of service, right? Yes, it has been taken out of service and we gave it a second life by retrofitting it with an electrical drivetrain. Our development team has been working on this for about 8 months and now we have a protoype which can drive electrically. Of course we modernized it a little bit, right now you can hardly tell its age. So, let’s have a look at this vehicle. I’m especially interested in the battery and so on. In the interior, at the drivers seat, there’s hardly any difference? Exactly, the vehicle can be driven by any bus driver, there’s no difference to a regular bus. No changes in the dashboard, except for a couple of new switches. You can’t see it right now, but we’ll integrate an additional monitor which will display data and status information about the new drivetrain. The current dashboard isn’t equipped to do this yet, it displays all the information it used to and we’ll add the new monitor which will give information about the new electric engine. This is a pilot project, together with the city of Landshut, right? Exactly, the city of Landshut provided us with this vehicle and it will take the bus back into the line operation by mid-2019. What distance will this bus cover every day in Landshut? It actually depends on the line, our goal was to cover about 200km per day, even when the heating or AC are running at full capacity. This means, it will be ready to operate for a full day? Yes, the city of Landshut asked us to implement a so-called “night-loader” because this is very similar to how a regular diesel vehicle is being operated: The vehicle drives all day, comes back at night and then charges. Where did the old diesel engine use to sit? The diesel engine was built in at the rear end, this is a low-floor vehicle, which means the engine was built in eccentrically at the driver’s side. The space that is free now is used for our battery modules. How much battery capacity is installed? We have a capacity of 320 kWh, this is what we need to cover a 200km distance. And what’s this, some kind of control unit? We call it battery junction box, it bundles the power from all the battery modules and distributes power to the electrical devices. Speaking of consumption: What’s the consumption of a diesel bus, and how many kWh does this vehicle consume? Well, I don’t have the exact data for the diesel consumption of this specific vehicle, but a regular city bus with all these frequent stops, usually consumes between 37 and 42 liters per 100km. Our prototype has only been drivable for one week, so we don’t have any real life consumption data yet but we have data from our simulations, and we estimate a little more than 1kWh per km. That means, roughly 110kWh per 100km? If we convert this to diesel, it translates to 10 liters per 100km. Which means, the operating costs are significantly lower. And what’s here, more battery modules? The old engine was a 12 liter diesel block with a gas tank and a gear box, we removed all these parts, and this gave us all this space we can see here. This space has been filled up with battery modules. And the operating range is around 200km? Yes, and in spring or fall, when we don’t need AC or heating we can cover even more distance. Since this vehicle is 15 years old, did you have to make any body repairs? With this vehicle, one could really tell it has been operated day in day out in summer and in winter, and the body had been corroded in some places. We took this as a proof of concept, that even such an old vehicle can be refurbished with some economically reasonable repairs. And now we expect it to have an additional life span of about 8 years from now on. What price do you estimate for this type of retrofit? The vehicle as we can see it here would be priced at roughly €300,000. It’s a prototype, and some systems have been designed redundantly which means the cost could be a little lower in series production. Even more important: We have a modular battery concept. If a customer doesn’t need as much battery capacity, we can reduce the size of the battery And this actually saves money, because the battery is the most expensive component. If I own such an old diesel bus, I could scrap it because it doesn’t meet emission limits, then I have to buy a new electric bus which would cost me around €600,000 – 800,000…. Yes, around €600,000 – 700,000, that’s the price range for a new electric bus. This concept is economically interesting and also sustainable, because the vehicle life-span is extended. I think this is a good idea. This was an interesting interview with Matthias Kerler from in-tech in Munich who introduced us to the e-troFit concept and showed us the prototype. The bus drove in here on it’s own, it’s going to leave the fair on its own and it will be used in real life line operation in the future. Thank you!

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. Tolles Beispiel, wie man einen alten Diesel-Bus zu einem modernen Elektro-Bus umrüsten kann. Vielleicht hilft das ja auch, die Luft in den Innenstädten wieder sauberer zu bekommen.

  2. Die Frage die sich mir stellt. Wir haben 320kWh und eine Reichweite von 200km. Heißt 160kWh/100km. Ein Elektroauto(kleiner, geringerer Luftwiderstand, geringere Masse) hat ca einen Verbrauch von pi mal Daumen 16kWh/100km. Das heißt der Bus fährt 100km, ein Auto kann dafür bis zu 1000km fahren. Wir gehen bei einem PKW von einer Personenlast von 1,5Personen aus. Der Bus (korrigieren sie mich) wird im Alltag ca 20 Personen pro Fahrt befördern. Heißt wir haben im Alltag 1500Pkm (PKW) gegen 2000Pkm (Umbau-Citaro).
    Im Besten fall belegen wir ein Auto mit 4Personen, den Bus mit 65Personen. Wir haben also bei kompletter Auslastung 4000Pkm gegen 6500Pkm.
    Sprich das System skaliert bei weitem nicht so gut wie ein Auto, erzielt aber dennoch bessere Ergebnisse.
    Die Frage die sich mir jetzt sehr konkret stellt, um ein Vorteil im Stromverbrauch zu haben, benötigen wir bei der Annahme von 1,5 Personen im Auto eine Anzahl von 15 Fahrgästen. Wie häufig wird das denn real geknackt? Auf dem Land eher selten, in der Stadt wohl häufiger. Ist das wirklich die Lösung, die es anzustreben gilt?
    Natürlich sind noch Platzverbrauch, geringerer Feinstaub durch weniger Bremsverschleiß usw einzuberechnen.

    Wie bewerten denn andere Kommentierende dieses Thema?

  3. Gute Sache, die Umrüstung! Zum Glück gehen aber die meisten alten Busse nicht in den Schrott, sondern kriegen ihr 2. Leben bei Privaten oder im Ausland.

  4. Wie kann man einen so schönen Citaro nur so verunstalten?! 😟 Naja gut, immerhin besser als ausmustern. 😉 Mir ist das Fahrzeug mit Dieselmotor aber viel lieber. 😅
    Trotzdem ein interessantes Video! 😄👍

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