Daimler has unveiled an electric bus equipped with a solid-state battery pack — probably becoming the first planned production EV with a solid-state battery.
The German automaker has been aggressively electrifying its deep lineup of big vehicles from buses to commercial trucks.
This week, Daimler unveiled an update to its eCitaro, the electric version of its best-selling Citaro electric city bus, and the update included the anticipated solid-state version of the bus: the eCitaro G.
The version was first announced in 2018, one of the earliest announced implementations of solid-state batteries in a vehicle.
Today, we get more details on the vehicle, including a 25% increase in energy density versus the version equipped with a NMC battery:
The new eCitaro G is the first city bus in its category anywhere in the world to be equipped with solid-state batteries. These batteries have a very high energy density – around 25% greater than the coming generation of traditional lithium-ion batteries with liquid electrolyte. The new battery technology with an energy content of 441 kWh each is available both for the articulated bus and the solo bus. This gives the eCitaro G a range of up to 220 kilometers in favorable conditions with average demands on speed, topography, and load along with straightforward climatic conditions. In the winter with the heating in operation, the eCitaro G covers an impressive 170 kilometers.
Daimler says that the electric bus can charge at up to 300 kW.
As for the drivetrain, it is equipped with two 125 kW electric motors:
Like the solo bus, the eCitaro G is powered by the tried-and-tested ZF AVE 130 electric axle, which is located in the rear section. For maximum traction and use in demanding topography, the articulated bus can even be supplied with two powered axles. The motors are sited near the wheel hubs. Per axle they deliver up to 2 x 125 kW of power, generating 2 x 485 Nm of torque, as in the eCitaro. With the transmission ratio used, this equates to 2 x 11,000 Nm. This gives the articulated bus a commanding amount of drive power.
Daimler didn’t release the exact timing of deliveries for the solid-state version of the eCitaro, but it is officially being added to the lineup of Daimler buses.
Most experts put solid-state battery mass production at a few years away.