Electrifying Europe and now crowned best bus: MAN Lion's City E is "Bus of the Year"
A bus travels from milestone to milestone: the MAN electric bus, which went into series production in 2020 and for which a total of over 1,000 orders have been received to date. It inspires entrepreneurs, bus drivers, and passengers, but also experts - such as the international "Bus and Coach of the Year" jury, which has now awarded the all-electric city bus "Bus of the Year 2023. A success story that moves - and is far from over.
- MAN Lion's City E wins prestigious "Bus of the Year" award
- Prize presented at the IAA in Hanover as part of the VDA “Stars of the Year” event
- MAN proves practicality of electric bus on 2,500-kilometer journey to "Bus Euro Test" in Ireland
- MAN experts work continuously on improving and further developing the eBus
- Lion's City E now also available as a short midibus version with a length of 10.5 meters
The MAN Lion's City 12 E made an impressive appearance at the "Bus Euro Test" in Limerick, Ireland - and did so from the very first minute. After all, the all-electric city bus had completed the roughly 2,500-kilometer journey from Germany to Ireland on its own wheels. "It was a special experience for us as well as for the jury when we pulled up in Limerick with our MAN Lion's City 12 E after ten days of driving," said Rudi Kuchta, Head of Business Unit Bus at MAN Truck & Bus. But the all-electric city bus also impressed the jury during the "Bus Euro Test". In May, the expert jury had welcomed five bus manufacturers from all over Europe to Ireland for the international bus comparison test.
After an intensive week of testing with numerous driver experiences and long technical discussions, the verdict was clearly in favor of the MAN Lion's City 12 E as the new "Bus of the Year 2023". The 23 European trade journalists were particularly impressed by the overall concept of the city bus, which scores points for its range, reliability, comfort and, above all, sustainability.
"The new MAN Lion’s City 12 E has a ground-breaking design, high grade of comfort and a very quiet area inside. The drivers cabin is one of the best on the marked and with high grade of safety. MAN has focused on electric mobility from the first drawing and to a real product. In that way everything fits together and is not a ‘diesel bus converted to electric’. The International Bus & Coach of the Year Jury had a positive feeling from the first test drive and up to the decision that MAN Lion’s City 12 E is the Bus of the Year 2023", said jury president Tom Terjesen.
The award was presented by Tom Terjesen to Rudi Kuchta as part of the "Stars of the Year" event hosted by the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) to mark the opening of IAA Transportation 2022 in Hanover.
Another chapter in the success story
The "Bus of the Year" award has been presented for three decades now. It is considered the most important international prize in the bus industry. "We are all the more proud that our MAN Lion's City E was so well received by the expert jury and that we are now receiving this prestigious award," says Kuchta, adding, "The award impressively demonstrates the outstanding work done by the entire MAN team. At the same time, it is an outstanding further chapter in the success story of our MAN Lion's City E." This began in 2020, when the electric city bus went into series production. It is now on the road day after day in many European countries, generating enthusiasm among bus operators and drivers as well as experts and passengers.
One of the reasons for this is that the experts at MAN Truck & Bus are continuously working on the further development and improvement of the all-electric Lion's City E. Their aim is to use sophisticated technology to improve the bus. Their goal: to provide public transport operators with the best possible support in their daily work with sophisticated technology and individual solutions. To enable them to perfectly adapt their eBus to future use, MAN offers, among other things, two battery usage strategies for the Lion's City E: In addition to the "Reliable Range" strategy (up to 270 km range), there is also the "Maximum Range" strategy for ranges up to 350 km. In addition, the new CO2 air conditioning system and improved heating circuit ensure even greater efficiency. Also new are the modular batteries. This means that electric bus customers will be able to specify the number of battery packs from this fall. This means that the all-electric city bus can be even better adapted to individual customer needs and requirements in terms of range and passenger capacity.
MAN also offers its customers a number of alternatives in terms of size. For example, the Lion's City E is now also available as a short midibus version measuring 10.5 meters, which has one of the largest battery capacities in the segment. Thanks to its record-breaking turning circle and compact dimensions, it is the ideal solution for narrow city centers and busy pedestrian zones in particular. The midibus thus completes MAN's electric bus range, which now consists of 10.5-meter, 12.2-meter, and 18.1-meter vehicles.
Numerous awards and sales successes prove popularity of the bus
The "Bus of the Year" award now presented clearly shows how excellently the Lion's City E has been received. "From the very beginning, it was clear to us that we would develop our eBus in close cooperation with our customers, but also that we would continuously optimize it. Our goal was and is to offer the best electric city bus. The fact that our efforts have been rewarded by the market and many experts is a great success," says Barbaros Oktay, Head of Bus Engineering at MAN Truck & Bus. For example, the electric city bus also received the iF Gold Award 2020. The iF International Forum Design jury was particularly impressed by the ergonomic and aesthetically pleasing design of the eBus.
But the sales figures for the Lion’s City E also make it clear how popular it is. Already more than 1,000 eBuses have been ordered in total since the start of sales. "However, we want to put significantly more electric buses on the road: In the last fiscal year, just under 6 percent of our new city buses were electric; by 2025, that figure will be half. And we expect around 90 percent of our city buses to be battery-powered by 2030," says Rudi Kuchta.
From Munich to Ireland: eBus travels to the "Bus Euro Test"
The MAN Lion's City E proved just how powerful an all-electric city bus can be on its way to the "Bus Euro Test" with an impressive journey across Europe to Ireland. During the "Electrifying Europe Tour," the twelve-meter city bus crossed eight countries in ten days. It covered a total distance of 2,448.8 kilometers and consumed a total of 1,763.7 kWh of energy, which corresponds to around 0.72 kWh per kilometer. These peak values were achieved thanks to the Lion's City E's efficient technology and an impressive recuperation rate of 20.8 percent. Six lithium-ion battery packs (capacity 480 kWh) on the roof of the eBus provided the energy for the journey through cities, over countryside and mountains. Recharging was carried out after each daily stage, and no intermediate charging was necessary. This is because the electric bus offers a range of up to 350 kilometers.
MAN offers eBus chassis for international markets
In terms of drive, MAN relies on a central motor on the rear axle in its eBus, or two central motors on the second and third axles in the articulated bus, which benefits driving behavior and recuperation. With its locally emission-free drive, the MAN Lion's City E meets the requirement to reduce pollutant and noise emissions in cities. Incidentally, the reliable technology of the MAN Lion's City E will also be used in MAN's eBus chassis in the future. "In order to meet the growing demand for electric buses worldwide and make an important contribution in terms of sustainable mobility, we are offering the MAN electric bus solution for international markets outside Europe with our eBus chassis," says Kuchta. In the future, the chassis will provide bodybuilders with a perfect basis for their all-electric models.
Practicality is an important criterion for the jury
Since 1989, the international jury of experts has been awarding the "Bus of the Year" and "Coach of the Year" titles to various bus types on an annual basis. The European trade journalists pay particular attention to the practical suitability and concept of the vehicles provided by the manufacturers for the comparative test. With the current award for the MAN Lion's City 12 E, MAN Truck & Bus has already been able to pick up the trophy for its MAN and NEOPLAN bus brands a proud 12 times - six times as the title for "Coach of the Year" (2022, 2020, 2006, 2004, 2000, 1994) and also six times for "Bus of the Year" (2023, 2015, 2005, 1999, 1995, 1990).