MAN EBUS ROADSHOW FASCINATES PEOPLE ON TWO CONTİNENTS
It’s an electrifying eBus tour that starts in Germany, travels throughout Europe, and ends in northwestern Africa. At the center of the roadshow, which enters its third round in 2022, is the MAN Lion’s City E. Last year, it captivated customers, drivers, and passengers in a total of 20 countries, mastering even the most difficult road and weather conditions.
20 countries and more than 1,000 customers electrified! The MAN Lion’s City E continued to tour Europe in 2021 with zero emissions and caused a stir at its stops. The response to the roadshow, which MAN Truck & Bus accompanied on social media under the hashtag #ElectrifyingEurope, clearly showed how great the interest in the innovative electric buses is. “In 2022, the roadshow will enter what is now the third round. We want to give even more customers and transport operators the opportunity to test our all-electric bus. We want them to experience live how fascinating electric mobility can be,” says Rudi Kuchta, Head of Business Unit Bus at MAN Truck & Bus, adding, “The special thing: We are not ‘just’ on the road in Europe, but will also be making a side trip to Morocco at the beginning of 2023. This will make our MAN Lion’s City E one of the first European eBuses in Africa.”
While the all-electric city bus was still touring 15 European countries in 2020, by 2021 it was already touring 20 countries. “Thanks to its convincing range, the MAN Lion’s City E mastered even long distances without any problems,” said Kuchta. On the ground, the MAN Lion’s City E presented itself with its comprehensive eMobility concept at numerous transport companies as well as at trade fairs and events. For example, it captivated visitors at the VDV electric bus conference and trade fair ElekBu in Berlin, at the AMTU & ATUC Congress in Spain, at TRANSPOTEC in Milan in Italy, at the International Fair of Public Transport TRANSEXPO in Kielce in Poland, and at the Transport Fair in Denmark. “In total, we reached – or rather literally electrified – more than 1,000 customers in the 20 countries. The response to our eBus was simply overwhelming,” says Rudi Kuchta.
In Germany alone, the MAN Lion’s City E covered around 12,000 kilometers during its roadshow from June to October, stopping at 175 locations and delighting almost 300 customers. Also on tour for the first time last year was the all-electric Lion’s City 18 E articulated bus, which went into series production in April 2021 – and was on the line almost simultaneously in Cologne and Barcelona. “The vehicles for Cologne and Barcelona are part of a field trial. Our aim is to gather extensive experience together with the transport companies and, based on this experience, to continuously improve our city buses,” Kuchta makes clear.
All-electric to the ski slopes: Lion’s City E proves winter capability
Also being put through its paces is the Lion’s City 12 E, which has been in use since February 2022 in the inner Alpine high valley of Engadin in the canton of Graubünden in Switzerland. Even the journey from Chur to St. Moritz was a challenge. In snow and ice, the eBus drove over the Julier Pass. “Even the highest point of the Julier, which is 2284 meters above sea level, was reached by our electric bus without any problems despite the difficult weather, road and therefore driving conditions,” says Kuchta, adding, “The eBus will be integrated by Bus und Service AG into its vehicle fleet for over a year. During this time, it can continue to demonstrate how reliable it is on the road at all times.” The all-electric city bus will be used in the topographically challenging Upper Engadine, during rush hours or at night as well as in the inner-city regular service of the city of Chur and the surrounding area. BuS AG decided on the test deployment because it is committed to the greatest possible reduction of pollutant and noise emissions in local public transport.
In neighboring Austria, wintry conditions also awaited the eBus. “The tourism association of the Olympiaregion Seefeld in Tyrol tested our Lion’s City E for its winter suitability – and it passed the test with flying colors,” says Kuchta. It was used on the ski bus line, to Wildmoos and through Leutasch, among other places. There, it took winter sports enthusiasts safely, comfortably and with zero local emissions to the ski slopes.
At the end of last year, the Lion’s City 12 E already demonstrated its suitability for everyday use in Lithuania – which was part of the roadshow for the first time in 2021. There it was in service with “Kauno autobusai,” the bus operator for the city of Kaunas. To date, this operator has relied on the MAN Lion’s City EfficientHybrid. 100 of the modern city buses have been operating in Kaunas, Lithuania’s second-largest city, since mid-2021. “As part of our roadshow, the company has now tested our eBus. Drivers and passengers, as well as the customer, were enthusiastic about the MAN Lion’s City 12 E and its advantages: “They had not yet had a better eBus in test operation, was the unanimous feedback,” says Rudi Kuchta.
#ElectrifyingEurope roadshow goes into the next round.
This year, MAN eBuses will once again be rolling through around 20 countries, mastering missions and creating fascination. That’s because the roadshow will go into the next round in 2022. At the beginning of 2023, the Lion’s City E will then go on tour outside Europe for the first time. It will be presented to customers, drivers and journalists in Fés, Kenitra, Marrakesh and Safi in Morocco. Test drives are also on the agenda. As in previous years, interested parties can follow the highlights of the roadshow on MAN’s social media channels under the hashtag #ElectrifyingEurope.