Zero-emission Mercedes-Benz Citaro city bus with all-electric drive due in 2018

Zero-emission Mercedes-Benz Citaro city bus with all-electric drive due in 2018

The countdown to zero emission buses has started: towards the end of next year, Mercedes-Benz will be starting series production of a city bus with all-electric drive system based on the international best-seller, the Mercedes-Benz Citaro.

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Modular design of battery packs allows range to be tailored

Mercedes-Benz celebrated production of the 50,000th Citaro just recently – but development of the world's number one best-selling city bus continues apace. Hot on the heels of the recently introduced Citaro hybrid with its highly efficient diesel or gas-engine drive system comes the next step, the all-electric Citaro.

It receives its drive energy from lithium-ion batteries. The modular design of the battery pack means that individually customised solutions can be devised to match a wide range of applications and requirements in city traffic.

As well as the possibility of charging it from a power socket at the depot, Mercedes-Benz can also as an option supply the Citaro with one of a range of intermediate recharging solutions. The vehicle is powered by electric wheel hub motors at the rear axle, a system already proven over recent years in the Citaro G BlueTec Hybrid.

Thermal management reduces energy consumption dramatically

One of the particular features of the Citaro with all-electric drive will be the meticulously refined thermal management of the bus's drive and climate control systems. This thermal management reduces energy consumption significantly and is tantamount to extending the range of the bus without changing the size of battery.

Successful testing in bitter cold as well as extreme heat

The Citaro with all-electric drive is currently being put through the same comprehensive cycle of trials and testing to which every other bus built by Mercedes-Benz is subjected. Prototypes have, for example, already successfully undergone initial winter testing in icy temperatures at the Arctic circle as well as summer testing in the heat of Spain's Sierra Nevada. Endurance testing and detailed refinements will now follow, ensuring that Mercedes-Benz will be able to offer maximum availability on a par with that of a conventionally powered urban bus: the plan is that Mercedes-Benz will start production of a fully viable series-production urban bus in the autumn of next year. The bus is so well-proven that the brand is already tendering for contracts.

The Citaro with all-electric drive will celebrate its world premiere in September 2018 at the IAA Commercial Vehicles show in Hanover.

Lexus CT200H refreshed with interior updates and innovative new equipment

Lexus CT200H refreshed with interior updates and innovative new equipment

Updated exterior and interior styling for Lexus' original hybrid luxury compact hatchback with larger Lexus Navigation System display and Lexus Safety System + active safety and driver assistance features.

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Exterior design: a more dramatic presence

Designers have crafted a stronger look for the CT 200h with a number of new exterior details, including a cleaner, more prominent arrangement of the signature Lexus spindle grille and front bumper and repositioning of the arrowhead daytime running lights above new single-projector LED headlamp units.

Changes have also been to the rear of the vehicle with a new garnish and treatment of the lower rear bumper section, and new 15 and 17-inch wheel designs have been introduced.

Lexus Safety System +

The Lexus Safety System + is designed to offer enhanced safety with advanced technologies such as a Pre-Collision System (PCS), Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keeping Assist Alert (LKA) with Sway Warning, Automatic High Beam (AHB) headlights, and Road Sign Assist (RSA).

Interior and equipment updates

The principal change for 2018 is the adoption of a much larger display screen for the Lexus Navigation systems which is increased in size from seven to 10.3 inches.

The driver's instrument binnacle features Optitron meters and, where Lexus Premium Navigation is specified, a 4.2-inch colour TFT multi-information screen. The information menu can be controlled using switches on the steering wheel, or by the using central multimedia display.

Connectivity and entertainment features include twin port, multi-USB compatibility; a USB-stored photo display function; a MirrorLink function (LDA); album cover art display; and a cache radio function which records 20 minutes of a programme for replay if missed.

Ride and handling

The structural rigidity of the body shell has been improved, with a low centre of gravity and minimal yaw inertia moment through the use of lightweight aluminium bonnet, tailgate and bumper reinforcements.

The CT 200h was the first Lexus to adopt a lateral performance damper system, designed to absorb and minimise body vibrations while promoting a linear steering feel and ride comfort.

Superior body rigidity is supported by extensive spot-welding in strategic locations and the use of structural adhesives in the lower bodyshell. This rigidity allowed for the suspension to be retuned, with adjustments to springs rates and thicker rear stabiliser bar, securing a more comfortable ride without sacrificing handling agility.

The electric power steering has also been optimised in conjunction with the increased bodyshell stiffness, together with high-rigidity steering column mount to improve steering feel and responsiveness.

New Nissan Leaf wins first international award at Consumer Electronics Show in US

New Nissan Leaf wins first international award at Consumer Electronics Show in US

The new Nissan LEAF has taken top honours at the CES (Consumer Electronics Show) annual CES Unveiled ceremony, presented by the Consumer Technology Association.

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With the announcement of the Best of Innovation award winners for 2018, before a crowd of tech industry experts in New York, the all-new, zero-emission Nissan LEAF won its first major international award.

As confirmation of Nissan's leading investment in innovation, the Nissan LEAF 100% electric vehicle with ProPILOT (known as ProPILOT Assist in North America) and e-Pedal technologies took the following honours:

  • CES Best of Innovation award winner for Vehicle Intelligence and Self-Driving Technology
  • CES honouree for Tech for a Better World.

Each year, the Consumer Technology Association announces its CES Best of Innovation award winners as part of the buildup to the January CES in Las Vegas. Nissan and the association will put on a special display of the new Nissan LEAF at the 2018 show.

The new Nissan LEAF brings a compelling package of everyday-useful innovations and technologies to more people worldwide than any electric vehicle has done before. The car is helping make the world a better place not only through innovation, but also through accessibility to more people. Additional capabilities such as vehicle-to-home and vehicle-to-grid integration (availability depending on market) help owners know they can waste less and give back more.

The new Nissan LEAF is on sale in Japan and will be arriving at Nissan dealers in the US and Canada over the next two months.

In Western Europe production starts in December 2017 and the Leaf goes on sale from February 2018.

IC Bus unveils its all-new electric school bus concept

IC Bus unveils its all-new electric school bus concept

IC Bus has unveiled the IC Electric Bus chargE, its new electric CE Series concept school bus developed with its alliance partner, Volkswagen Truck & Bus.

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The chargE was designed to give customers a zero-emissions school bus option while lowering the total cost of ownership and offering user-friendly options and features with diesel-like performance. The company unveiled the chargE at the 2017 National Association for Pupil Transportation Annual Conference and Trade Show, and expects to launch its first unit as early as 2019.

The new chargE concept electric school bus incorporates a common group electric drivetrain from Volkswagen Truck & Bus that is quiet, does not produce any emissions, and can be built to address any school bus customer's specific requirements. The range of the chargE can exceed 120 miles, while the powertrain can deliver up to 260 kW (about 349 peak horsepower).

At the inaugural North American Commercial Vehicle Show in Atlanta this past September, Navistar and Volkswagen Truck & Bus Group announced plans to develop an electric-powered, medium-duty vehicle for Navistar's Core (US and Canada) market, which it also expects to launch as early as 2019. The chargE concept vehicle represents the second electric powertrain vehicle coming out of the alliance built with a common group electric drivetrain from Volkswagen Truck & Bus.

Workhorse Group optimises last-mile delivery with new N-Gen electric van

Workhorse Group optimises last-mile delivery with new N-Gen electric van

Workhorse Group, an American technology company focused on providing electric mobility solutions to the commercial transportation sector, has commenced implementation of agreements to test and operate its new N-Gen electric van.

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"The new N-Gen platform represents a new day for last-mile delivery," said Stephen Burns, CEO of Workhorse. "With agreements now in place to test and operate N-Gen vehicles in several cities across the United States, Workhorse continues to be on the front edge of transformative innovation in the commercial transportation sector."

The electric N-Gen van, with lightweight composite body, will provide an anticipated range of 100 miles on a single charge. An optional gasoline range extender will add an additional 75 miles. In early on-road testing, the N-Gen has demonstrated a 60-65 mpg efficiency.

The N-Gen's ultra low 19-inch floor and 105-inch roof height maximise cargo space, reduce knee injuries and enhance driver ease of operation. Standard van options include all-wheel drive, automatic braking and lane centering, a best-in-class 26-foot turning radius and superior handling for maximum versatility. The built-in Workhorse Metron telematics system tracks in real time all van and drone parameters to optimise performance and efficiency. Additional configurations for telecomm service/municipal use, as well as 700-cubic-foot and 1,000-cubic-foot models, are expected in late 2018.

It will also feature an optional integrated HorseFly Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Package Delivery System. The carbon-fibre, high-efficiency octocopter drone launches from the roof of a delivery van and delivers a package to its destination within the driver's line of sight. The patent-pending truck and drone HorseFly system is compliant with all current FAA regulations, and can carry a package weighing up to 10 pounds with a cost of approximately $.03 per mile.

Daimler's Thomas Built launches first all-electric yellow school bus

Daimler's Thomas Built launches first all-electric yellow school bus

The North American Daimler subsidiary Thomas Built Buses has introduced its first all-electric school bus for series production.

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Starting in 2019, the 'Saf-T-Liner C2 Electric Bus – Jouley' will drive up to 81 kids all over America to school – safely, quietly and emission-free. The 160 kWh battery provides a range of up to 160 kilometres. Additional battery packs are optional and offer a higher range.

During the development of the Saf-T-Liner C2 Electric Bus Thomas Built Buses was able to draw upon Daimler's electric technology resources.

Thomas Built Buses was founded in 1916 and is world renowned for its legendary yellow school buses from films and television. With a market share of 38.7% Thomas Built Buses is the leading manufacturer of school buses in North America (in the year to date – 08/2017).

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