Saturday 14 January 2023

eCitaro completes National Express Coventry Trial

Entering service on ‘home turf’ for the first time, the Mercedes-Benz eCitaro joined the National Express Coventry fleet for the month of December 2022.

National Express Coventry, a leading provider of urban bus services in the area, is supporting the drive for cleaner air in the city with the ongoing demonstration of electric buses across multiple manufactures – as part of its fleet decarbonisation programme.

Putting the capabilities of the all-electric bus to the test

National Express Coventry undertook intensive trials with the bus, using it on a group of routes across Coventry, and two routes in south Birmingham.The demonstration period concluded on 20th December.

The eCitaro goes the distance, fulfilling one of the operator’s busiest corridors on the Coventry network. Serving in excess of 40 bus stops each way which connect the city centre with Longford, Bedworth and Nuneaton. Additional routes saw the eCitaro travel between University Hospital Coventry and the city centre with a variety of stops in residential areas between.

The Mercedes-Benz eCitaro undertook high-capacity commuter services, making it a regular sight around Coventry city. It also completed journeys on two routes through south Birmingham, connecting residents and communities to vital amenities including schools, shops and healthcare facilities.

Seamless integration into the fleet

Transition to electric power was made easy for drivers and passengers. A gradual power delivery combined with driver controls and a passenger seating layout carried over from the conventional diesel-powered Citaro ensure familiar comfort and relaxation for all on board.

Between the National Express Coventry and Yardley Wood depots, an overnight charging regime was adopted. Supporting fleet availability and plannability, the eCitaro provided real-time charging status updates.

David Bradford, Managing Director of National Express Bus, said:

“National Express Coventry plays a critical role in keeping people and communities connected, carrying millions of people to work, school, shops and to see their family and friends every day.

“We are proud to be providing greener, cleaner transport choices for our new and existing customers, and helping everybody to play their part in making the air cleaner for everybody’s lungs.

“National Express is already leading from the front with our transition to zero-emission buses. Over a third of our fleet in Coventry is now electric and we have a bold ambition to have a fully zero-emission bus fleet across the West Midlands by 2030.

“As we continue our journey we are delighted to have been able to trial the all-new Mercedes eCitaro electric single-decker. It has been a great opportunity to test the vehicle and better understand its capabilities and efficiencies under our usual operating conditions, with excellent feedback about the build quality and the smooth and comfortable ride.”

The Mercedes-Benz eCitaro supplied to National Express Coventry for demonstration purposes was provided by Mercedes-Benz Bus Sales at EvoBus (UK) Ltd.