Heading for the future with natural gas city buses from MAN


Powerful, efficient, quiet and environmentally friendly: Natural gas city buses from MAN Truck & Bus are the alternative to diesel. Their state-of-the-art alternative drive technology makes them extremely popular – and they are being used in an increasing number of cities throughout Europe. Most customers opt for the combination of gas engine and MAN EfficientHybrid, which makes the city buses even more efficient and environmentally friendly to operate.

  • 100 MAN Lion’s City with natural gas engine for Paris and 15 MAN Lion’s City 12 G for the biogas fleet in Oldenburg, Germany
  • MAN Truck & Bus has been constantly developing its natural gas technology for many years
  • New E18 engine series combined with MAN EfficientHybrid sets new standards in the market

Traffic in cities is increasing. At the same time, there is a growing desire for greener and cleaner cities. “The challenges for operators are growing and call for new, sustainable mobility concepts. What is needed are innovative solutions. We are convinced that city buses powered by natural gas or biogas engines can make a hugely important contribution to environmentally friendly public transport”, says Rudi Kuchta, Head of Business Unit Bus at MAN Truck & Bus. He adds: “As we move towards lower emissions in city centres, efficient drives using alternative fuels will be massively important. That is why natural gas technology has been an important part of the MAN portfolio of alternative drives in the city bus sector for many years.”

Current orders clearly show that the technology is popular with transport companies. Delivery of a total of 100 natural gas powered MAN Lion’s City solobuses for public transport in Paris is in full swing. As well as the MAN Lion’s City with natural gas drive, the Parisian public transportation company Régie autonome des transports Parisiens (RATP) also uses city buses with diesel and hybrid drives. The transport operator is thus utilising a range of the available drive types and lengths of the successful model to transport its passengers reliably, in an environmentally friendly way and at the lowest possible costs. “The fact that the Paris transportation company has once again chosen MAN vehicles with natural gas drives clearly demonstrates how satisfied RATP is with our natural gas buses in particular and with our city buses as a whole. Almost a quarter of the Parisian fleet is made up of state-of-the-art MAN buses, more than 1,000 vehicles in total”, Kuchta reports.

As well as the French capital, local transport provider VWG Oldenburg recently brought 15 new MAN Lion’s City 12 G with MAN EfficientHybrid into service in their city. The urban transport provider in Northern Germany is one of the pioneers in natural gas technology and is committed to sustainable mobility: In 2004, when the decision was made that only scheduled services buses powered by natural gas would be used in subsequent years, MAN already had a presence in the market with suitable vehicle types. Then, four years ago, VWG Oldenburg converted its entire fleet of 112 scheduled-service buses to natural gas drives – including a large number of MAN Lion’s City G models. Bio natural gas, which is produced from residual plant matter, has been in use since 2013. These plants take the same amount of CO2 out of the air during their growth as is emitted during combustion in the engine. Thus, on balance the VWG fleet in Oldenburg is almost CO2 neutral, saving around 9,500 tons of greenhouse gases per year.

Natural gas versions of the MAN Lion’s City are also used in public transportation in many other cities throughout Europe. With the launch of the new generation of city buses, they are now available with the innovative E18 engine series: “We have put our decades of know-how into the development of a completely new gas engine, which is exceptionally efficient and has extremely low exhaust emissions. When the E18 engine is combined with the MAN EfficientHybrid module, it can be operated even more economically”, explains Rudi Kuchta. He adds: “As the market and technology leader in the gas powered city bus segment in Europe, we are committed to making consistent advancements by constantly improving existing technologies or launching new ones. The fact that MAN is the only company to offer buses with gas engines in combination with hybrid technology proves that this commitment is paying off.” Public transportation customers are also impressed: More than 90 percent of all MAN city buses from the latest generation to be delivered to date are equipped with EfficientHybrid technology – when it comes to the new Lion’s City G with state-of-the-art natural gas drive, it is almost every vehicle.

MAN EfficientHybrid reduces both fuel consumption and emissions due to its standard stop-start function and intelligent energy management. The EfficientHybrid module’s energy management utilises the energy stored in UltraCaps – produced by recuperation when braking – to supply the vehicle's electrical system. As the stored electricity is also available when driving, the natural gas engine has to generate less energy, further reducing fuel consumption. The new E18 engine series can run on all well-known gas qualities from the natural gas network and on processed biogas. When combined with the state-of-the-art MAN EfficientHybrid technology, cities get an environmentally friendly vehicle with maximum efficiency and a further forward-looking solution to meet the current challenges in urban mobility.