MAN Truck & Bus
At full speed Here, the MAN Lion's City E is just approaching Lake Kochel, about 70 kilometers south of Munich.
We made it! Now the bus has finished - because the day's destination Innsbruck has been reached. And the battery is far from empty.
Many keen skiers and snowboarders know the road from Munich to Innsbruck like the back of their hand and most of them make the journey with bag and baggage in the back and their winter sports equipment on the roof. They’re often on the way to a wonderful winter sports holiday in Tyrol or South Tyrol. No-one has ever done this route by bus – especially not an electric one!
We have! However, our final destination isn’t Kitzbühel or Wolkenstein, it’s Limerick in Ireland. Don’t you believe us? Come back here each day and follow our “Electrifying Europe” road trip that will take us more than 2,500 kilometres across our beautiful continent. The grand finale awaits us in Limerick: The International Bus Euro Test 2022 which will see the presentation of the “Bus of the Year” award. It goes without saying that we’d love our MAN Lion’s City E to win.
Starting signal Rudi Kuchta hands over the key for the MAN Lion's City E to ProfiDrive driver Heinrich Degenhart.
Ready to go Reporter Boris Pieritz loads the last pieces of equipment onto the bus - his workplace for the next ten days.
At the wheel is Heinrich Degenhart of MAN ProfiDrive, one of the best and nicest bus drivers in Germany. He skilfully navigates us out of the Bavarian capital with a gentle foot on the throttle and aims of high range. For the first few metres, we are joined on board by MAN’s chief designer Stephan Schönherr, who bids a fitting farewell to us and his baby. A word about range: According to its specifications, the 480 kilowatt hours batteries on our bus should give us a range of up to 350 kilometres. We should have energy to spare on today’s stage, so there will be no need to charge en route.
A word about batteries: In the electric public bus sector, the MAN Lion’s City E is currently streets ahead in terms of technology. However, MAN is not resting on its laurels. Engineers are already working hard on the next generation batteries which will guarantee even greater range, and which are due to hit the market in 2025. These will ensure that buses won’t need to stop to charge on their daily tours through the cities of Europe. Nevertheless, the MAN Lion’s City E is already a temple to technology: The six lithium-ion battery packs on the roof (weighing around 500 kilograms each) make the bus significantly safer for passengers by placing them outside the areas of the vehicle likely to suffer damage in the event of an accident. As a side effect, this allows more space inside for the passengers, and lastly, provides easier access to the batteries for servicing.
With a modern interior and plenty of reserves, we glide safely and cleanly through the Bavarian Alpine Foreland, past the glittering Kochelsee and Walchensee lakes. The best thing about driving an e-bus is that we started in Munich with an indicated range of 395 kilometres (350 kilometres once we were out of the city), but we got to the Kochelsee with a range of 405 kilometres showing, all thanks to Heinrich and his outstanding regeneration!
Driving this bus is great fun because it performs brilliantly in every situation.
We are continuing through tranquil Mittenwald with its colourfully painted houses, ringed by mountain peaks. Then into Austria and the Tyrolean mountains – still quiet, extremely economical and completely emission-free. Here in the mountains, the bus impressively shows us how powerfully and almost effortlessly it can climb. With a maximum power output of 326 hp, continuous torque of 1,300 Newton metres and an impressive maximum torque of 2,100 Newton metres, it covers the distance briskly. To put it more poetically, the MAN Lion’s City E leaps up the passes as light-footedly as a young deer.
Regenerating energy on the way back down. We’re gaining range! On our way down the famous Zirler Berg near Seefeld with its four-kilometre-long descent and an average gradient of at least 10 percent, we effortlessly recharged our batteries. The maximum regeneration capacity of the bus is around 50 % of the entire energy consumed.
Large and deep Lake Walchen in the Bavarian foothills of the Alps lies at an altitude of 800 meters. When driving downhill later on, we recuperated powerfully.
Eye-catcher In Mittenwald, a golden boot shines against the imposing backdrop of the Alps.
Appetizer This somewhat chubby gentleman attracts guests to a restaurant in Mittenwald.
Onward through the magical Inn valley, past colourful, flowering meadows, tumbling waterfalls and picturesque Tyrolean villages. When the Bergisel ski jump where three “German eagles”, Jens Weißflog (1984), Sven Hannawald (2002) and Richard Freitag (2015), landed wins in the Four Hills Tournament comes into view, we reach the end of our first stage: Innsbruck, into which we drive happily and electrically.