An electrifying achievement – MAN hands over first all-electric city buses to Hamburg


Hamburg has taken another step towards achieving its vision of a transport system producing no emissions whatsoever. In mid-December, MAN Truck & Bus handed over the first two MAN Lion’s City E vehicles to the transport operators Hamburger Hochbahn AG and Verkehrsbetriebe Hamburg-Holstein GmbH (VHH). They are now running the electric buses as part of their day-to-day operations and gaining further experience with e-mobility.

  • Handover ceremony for the first, state-of-the-art MAN Lion’s City E vehicles held in Hamburg’s famous ‘Speicherstadt’ warehouse district
  • MAN’s demo fleet of 15 electric buses will be on the road in customer operations in five European countries as from 2020
  • MAN is helping its customers on the path to e-mobility by offering innovative electric trucks, vans and buses, as well as comprehensive consulting on e-mobility matters

In order to achieve emissions-free mobility in the future, we need to chart the right course today. Mastering the transition from “Low Emissions” to “No Emissions” is a major challenge facing city authorities and transport operators, in particular because the concept of completely emissions-free transport is still uncharted territory for many municipalities and transport companies. To provide the best possible support in this endeavour, MAN Truck & Bus is collaborating with its customers to run a demo fleet of 15 MAN Lion’s City E city buses as part of day-to-day operations, in order to gain comprehensive experience of how the vehicles operate in practice. MAN handed over the first two Lion’s City E vehicles in mid-December to the transport operators Hamburger Hochbahn AG and Verkehrsbetriebe Hamburg-Holstein GmbH (VHH). “When it comes to e-mobility, MAN has a clear roadmap for trucks, vans and of course also for buses. We are proud and delighted to hand over the first two customer vehicles for the planned practical testing to the city of Hamburg,” commented Rudi Kuchta, Head of Business Unit Bus at MAN Truck & Bus, at the handover ceremony for the electric buses. The guests also included Dr Peter Tschentscher, First Mayor of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg.

Dr Peter Tschentscher, First Mayor of Hamburg, said: “We need new technologies and creative solutions in order to master the big challenges facing modern metropolises in the 21st Century – climate protection, mobility and digital transformation. These new buses form part of a strategic transformation in terms of mobility, which we will be pursuing in Hamburg over the coming years. Our city’s future transport system will be eco-friendly and convenient. We are significantly expanding our public transport system and will procure only emissions-free buses from 2020 onwards. Anyone travelling on the new electric buses in future will have a totally carbon-neutral trip, as the buses and trains in Hamburg’s transport network run on 100% green electricity.”

The vehicles were handed over in the ‘Speicherstadt’ warehouse district of Hamburg – one of the city’s landmark areas, to which many residents are emotionally attached. “It’s a special location, befitting of such a special occasion, as we have taken an important step towards achieving emissions-free transport. It will benefit both the environment and the people living here, as the electric buses produce no emissions whatsoever whilst under way,” explained Toralf Müller, Managing Director of Verkehrsbetriebe Hamburg-Holstein. The vehicles are also being exhibited as miniature models bearing the VHH and HOCHBAHN livery at the ‘Miniatur Wunderland’ model railway and miniature airport attraction in Hamburg. This way, residents and tourists alike can marvel at the two electric buses at their leisure in the ‘Speicherstadt’ district.

The two real-life MAN Lion’s City E vehicles will in future bring passengers in Hamburg to their destinations safely and comfortably as an eco-friendly mode of transport. They measure 12 metres in length and offer space for up to 88 passengers. The electric buses’ central motor is located on the rear axle. In the solobus, the all-electric driveline produces 160 kW up to a maximum of 240 kW. The energy for this comes from the modular batteries with 480 kWh of installed capacity; here, MAN can rely on the fully developed battery cell technology from the Group’s modular kit. What’s more, the sophisticated temperature management system ensures they are readily available, regardless of the season. As a result, the Lion’s City E reliably achieves a range of 200 km, and even up to 270 km in favourable conditions.

“Our aim is to have a completely emissions-free fleet by 2030. That’s why we greatly appreciate having MAN as an additional provider of emissions-free buses on the Hamburg market,” explained Henrik Falk, Chairman of the Executive Board at Hamburger Hochbahn AG.

Demo electric bus fleet in service as from 2020

As part of the e-mobility roadmap, the coming year will see an additional 13 electric buses join practical testing as part of day-to-day operations, complementing the vehicles that have been handed over to HOCHBAHN and VHH. The demo fleet of 15 electric buses will then be on the road in customer operations in five European countries. “As part of several field trials, we are gaining comprehensive practical experience with our MAN Lion’s City E vehicles in day-to-day scheduled-service operation,” commented Rudi Kuchta, adding: “To achieve this, we have concluded innovation partnerships with various operators.” The first customer vehicles from series production of the MAN Lion’s City E in the 12-metre solobus version, are then set to be delivered in the second half of 2020. This will be followed around six months later by the all-electric Lion’s City E in the articulated bus version, which is set to start series production in the first half of 2021.

Trucks, vans and buses: a clear e-mobility roadmap for all

MAN isn’t just offering pioneering e-mobility concepts for buses, but also for trucks and vans. For example, MAN Truck & Bus already delivered the first nine all-electric eTGM distribution trucks to partner companies of the Austrian Council for Sustainable Logistics (CNL) back in mid-September 2018. Another vehicle was taken by Porsche in December 2019, to be used in plant logistics at its Zuffenhausen production site. All 10 vehicles are currently being trialled in practice in various distribution logistics scenarios. With the eTGE, MAN also presented its first series e-vehicle at the 2018 IAA. This electric MAN sets itself apart with a range of around 160 kilometres and, depending on the registration, a payload of up to 1.75 t – making it the perfect choice for ‘last mile’ logistics.

As part of its e-mobility roadmap, MAN has developed an overall concept alongside its vehicles. This concept promises to provide maximum added value to transport operators as they move towards achieving emissions-free transport. MAN Transport Solutions offers bus and truck fleet operators expert, full-service consulting, and recommends individual solutions for operations, infrastructure, service and maintenance related to e-mobility. MAN has also begun to tailor service and maintenance for the e-vehicles in line with the new requirements. “More than 40 MAN service outlets throughout Europe already meet the standards for electric vehicles today. Our aim is to increase this figure to up to 270 workshops,” highlights Rudi Kuchta.

MAN has been focussing on vehicle electrification for years now, with the first hybrid bus delivered as early as 2010. Since then, MAN has sold around 800 of the successful Lion’s City Hybrid (A37) bus model and gained comprehensive experience in engineering, production and service. “The new city bus generation featuring MAN EfficientHybrid is another milestone, just like the handover of our two MAN Lion’s City E vehicles to the city of Hamburg. They are impressive proof of the ingenuity at MAN Truck & Bus,” adds Rudi Kuchta.