Electric buses are a hit in Hamburg! Transport company VHH orders 20 more MAN Lion's City E


Day after day, 17 MAN Lion's City 12 E vehicles are leaving passengers, drivers and operators in Hamburg and Norderstedt delighted. Verkehrsbetriebe Hamburg-Holstein (VHH) has now ordered another 20 all-electric city buses from MAN Truck & Bus. Before long, the new solo and articulated buses will be taking locals and visitors to Hamburg from A to B in a safe, comfortable and environmentally friendly manner – and putting smiles on faces along the way.

  • 17 MAN eBuses impress users on a day-to-day basis with their range and reliability
  • Follow-up order: VHH orders another 10 Lion's City 12 E and 10 Lion's City 18 E articulated buses
  • VHH puts its faith in innovative vehicles to create an environmentally friendly, resource-saving and high-performance public transport system
  • For MAN, too, the future of urban mobility is electric

At the end of 2019, transport company Verkehrsbetriebe Hamburg-Holstein (VHH) gave MAN Truck & Bus its first sales success story in the electric bus market. This was a milestone for MAN, but also for VHH: It meant that the company was taking its first step in embracing the zero-emission mobility culture of tomorrow. All of the 17 MAN Lion’s City 12 E buses the company ordered are now in operation. “And they are so successful, in fact, that VHH has ordered another 20 electric buses from us,” says Rudi Kuchta, Head of Business Unit Bus at MAN Truck & Bus, adding: “We are delighted with this follow-up order, as it clearly shows how satisfied VHH is with their electric buses and how outstandingly well the buses are coping with the city traffic of Hamburg and all the challenges that brings.”

Ten of the MAN Lion's City 12 E buses that have already been delivered are out on the road for VHH in Norderstedt. The company has set up the first VHH depot for electric vehicles in the state of Schleswig-Holstein for this very purpose. The depot has a total of twelve charging points, which are used for charging the eBuses overnight with green electricity. Charged using an overnight charging system, the long-life batteries guarantee that the vehicles can be easily integrated into existing operations – a factor that was very important to VHH alongside reliability, safety, range and comfort. By expanding the depot, VHH has also created the conditions that will allow for further electrification in the coming years.

The other seven eBuses are used primarily for taking passengers from A to B on the VHH lines in the east of Hamburg in a safe, comfortable and environmentally friendly manner. The vehicles are operated out of the depot in the Bergedorf district of Hamburg. Dr Herbert Diess, CEO of Volkswagen AG, Andreas Tostmann, CEO of MAN Truck & Bus SE, and Gunnar Kilian, Chief Human Resources Officer of Volkswagen AG and also responsible for the "Truck & Bus" division on the Group Executive Board, visited the depot in spring of this year. “We were also out and about in Hamburg to experience the Lion's City E on one of its typical city routes – and to drive it ourselves! What got me excited? How quiet and comfortable the bus is, yet powerful at the same time and very easy to drive. Next stop: The future,” said Andreas Tostmann, in summary, following the visit.

The head-turner at the European Football Championships: The Lion’s City E in black, red and gold

The MAN electric bus with its “black, red and gold look,” which is currently doing the rounds in the city centre of Hamburg for VHH throughout the “Euros”, is getting a lot of attention. Passionate football fans are certainly not the “only” ones who are taking the opportunity to climb aboard the city bus that boasts the colours of the German national football team.

And before long, 20 more MAN Truck & Bus eBuses will be winning over passengers in Hamburg, not to mention drivers and operators: After all, the latest order will see the delivery of ten MAN Lion's City 12 E and ten MAN Lion's City 18 E buses. The solo and articulated buses are scheduled for delivery to VHH before the end of 2021. With this follow-up order, VHH is taking another big step on its way to becoming an electrically mobile enterprise. “VHH’s key objective is to establish an environmentally friendly, resource-saving and high-performance public transport system in the Hamburg metropolitan area. Innovative vehicles are a fundamental aspect of that,” reveals Toralf Müller, Managing Director of VHH. Since 2020, the transport company has procured only battery-powered buses with zero local emissions for the city of Hamburg in accordance with the Hamburg Senate's requirements.

“No emission” rather than “low emission”: The future is electric

In MAN Truck & Bus, Verkehrsbetriebe Hamburg-Holstein has the ideal partner by its side as it embarks on this journey. After all, for MAN, too, the future of urban mobility is electric. “E-mobility is the key technology when it comes to next-generation commercial transport. We are absolutely convinced of that. That's why we are always working with our customers to press ahead with technological progress,” says Rudi Kuchta, who adds: “With the MAN Lion's City E, we are already in a position to provide the fully electric solution for public transport. Operators can benefit from a comprehensive concept that brings together integral e-mobility consulting and customised, forward-looking mobility solutions.”

With innovative e-buses and services, MAN wants to provide the best possible support for the commercial vehicle sector. Politicians have already set out the guidelines for the urban mobility of the future: For example, within the framework of the Paris Climate Agreement, the signatory states have committed to significantly reducing CO2 emissions. And since the European Union passed the “Clean Vehicle Directive”, cities have to put in place a framework for emission-free mobility. The aim is to move from “low emission” to “no emission”. “We see this development as an opportunity to take on social responsibility and to act in an environmentally-conscious manner in the long term. That is why the topic of sustainable mobility has long been a key topic of focus for us,” says Kuchta.


E-bus ride in Hamburg (from left to right): Gunnar Kilian, chief human resources officer of Volkswagen AG and also responsible for the "Truck & Bus" division on the Group Executive Board, Andreas Tostmann, CEO of MAN Truck & Bus SE, and Dr Herbert Diess, chairman of the board of Volkswagen AG.

Here is the link to the "Diess spricht" video!