MAN and NEOPLAN at Busworld 2013
- A record: NEOPLAN Cityliner in Euro 6 breaks 20-litre barrier on long-distance trip
- World première: NEOPLAN Jetliner in Euro 6
- Especially light: new interiors reduce gross vehicle weights
- More safety: MAN's Emergency Brake Assist (EBA) available for NEOPLAN Starliner and Cityliner
- Economical and clean alternative: natural-gas buses from MAN
- Efficient and innovative: MAN Bus Rapid Transit Systems
- A view of the future: study shows creative draft designs
- From a single source: MAN Solutions combines services
Busworld 2013 in Kortrijk from 18 through 23 October will see MAN and NEOPLAN presenting efficient, innovative transport solutions designed precisely to meet individual customer and market requirements. The commercial vehicle manufacturer will be exhibiting its entire range of buses equipped with economical and powerful Euro 6 engines. MAN even had the exceptionally low fuel consumption of the NEOPLAN Cityliner in the Euro 6 version certified in a test run by the German Technical Board of Control (TÜV Sued). Then too, new interiors provide even more comfort and Emergency Brake Assist (EBA) supplements the MAN driver assistant systems already available for the bus segment. Alternative drives continue to gain ground in local public transport, with natural gas in particular being an environmentally friendly type of fuel in this sector. MAN has over forty years' experience in developing and producing natural-gas buses and offers economical, eco-friendly and reliable bus solutions. Technological progress and innovative products have always been what distinguishes MAN. This is why MAN didn't simply research how cities will shape future mobility but in a study also shows unconventional concepts for the future of the bus.
Certified by the German TBC - economical fuel consumption even with Euro 6
All the buses exhibited at Busworld 2013 comply with the Euro 6 emission standard, which comes into force on January 1 next year. While the fuel consumption of MAN's Euro 6 city buses is on average three to five percent lower than that of their EEV counterparts, the Euro 6 versions of intercity buses and coaches from MAN and NEOPLAN also remain fuel-efficient By comparison with buses equipped with EEV engines, fuel savings of up to three percent were determined.
Just how miserly the MAN and NEOPLAN buses are was ascertained in a test of the NEOPLAN Cityliner Euro 6 version, certified by Germany's leading testing institute, the Technical Board of Control. A round course of 1,320 kilometres that can be seen as representative of a coach route was defined. Subsequent to evaluation of the data recorded during the trips, the NEOPLAN Cityliner was certified as exhibiting the extremely economical fuel consumption of around 19.8 litres per hundred kilometres - a value without parallel amongst its competitors. This means that the vehicle is not only extremely economical to operate but also extremely low in CO2 emissions. When fully utilized, the NEOPLAN Cityliner emits a mere eleven grams of CO2 per passenger-kilometre. This test run demonstrates impressively that compared with aeroplanes, trains and passenger cars, the bus is far and away the most environmentally friendly means of transport.
World première: NEOPLAN Jetliner in Euro 6
The Euro 6 version of the versatile NEOPLAN Jetliner combination bus is celebrating its world premiere at Busworld 2013. The Jetliner offers the comfort of a genuine coach, with large luggage compartment volume, excellent driving properties and high-end materials options for the interior. Its floor height of 1,070 millimetres is the basis of its use as "double earner". It allows maximum flexibility for the choice of seating, offers up to 8 m³ luggage compartment volume, and has the perfect access height for use in regular-service operation. The high standards set for the vehicle's interior design are met by a large selection of high-quality fabrics for the seats and coverings. A comprehensive standard safety package guarantees outstanding driving safety round the clock.
At Busworld 2013, MAN is presenting the NEOPLAN Jetliner with a 360-hp six-cylinder D20 engine complying with Euro 6 plus twelve-speed MAN TipMatic Coach automated transmission. In addition, the exhibit at the fair is equipped with a wheelchair lift, which greatly simplifies boarding and alighting for mobility-challenged passengers.
Light and robust – new type of seat and seat upholstery
A new, light type of seat is now available for the MAN Lion's Regio und NEOPLAN Jetliner. Besides its new design, it boasts a number of other improvements. Its 750-mm high backrest makes the new seat type very comfortable, even for tall passengers. The height has been optimised and lowered to 465 mm for standard seats. Thanks to the thin backrest, the distance between the seats and the legroom have been increased. A robust back cover protects both the backrest and the seat cushion. The lap belt on the aisle side is now retractable. A further important feature is the low weight of the new seat type: relative to the predecessor model, this results in a weight saving of up to 15 percent for the double seat.
In addition, MAN is also presenting hard-wearing seat upholstery, available for all high-floor buses. The high-grade material in leather look withstands great stresses and strains while being easy to clean. Its water-repellent surface prevents staining; dirt can simply be washed away with water. The breathable polyurethane surface guarantees first-class seating comfort and is approximately 40 percent lighter than leather. The combination of this upholstery with the new seat type reduces the gross weight of the vehicle still further.
Emergency Brake Assist available for NEOPLAN Starliner and Cityliner
MAN's Emergency Brake Assist (EBA) can be ordered for the NEOPLAN Starliner and Cityliner, where it supplements the MAN braking assistant systems already available in the following manner: MAN BrakeMatic co-ordinates the deployment of the ABS and ASR service and continuous braking systems. The MAN braking assistant recognises emergency braking initiated by the driver him/herself and activates maximum braking power when required. If the driver fails to react, EBA independently initiates emergency braking. With the help of the emergency-braking assistant, severe rear-end collisions can be prevented or mitigated.
The radar sensor, which detects moving and stationary objects ahead in the lane in which the vehicle is travelling, is located in the middle of the chromed panel above the number plate.
In this system, MAN is offering its customers an automatic emergency braking assistant well before the legislative provisions, which will prescribe such a system for all newly registered vehicles from November 2015 on.
MAN CNG buses - an alternative that pays for itself
MAN has more than 40 years' experience with natural-gas buses and has since the year 2000 delivered over 7,500 natural-gas buses, bus chassis with natural-gas engines and individual natural-gas engines. With clean, powerful engines in compliance with Euro 6 as well as a wide range of CNG complete buses, MAN offers an alternative to conventional diesel propulsion that remains significantly below the levels required by what is currently the most stringent emission standard, and that completely without filter technology or additives. Without any need for technical modifications, CNG engines and buses from MAN can also be run on treated biogas, which makes operation CO2 neutral.
An analysis of the lifecycle costs of diesel and CNG buses shows the benefits for customers who choose natural gas as their power source. Looked at over a period of ten years, an MAN Lion's City CNG saves fuel costs totalling around €150,000 by comparison with a diesel bus from the same model range. Natural gas and bio-gas are eco-friendly, economical, future-proof alternatives particularly for urban bus companies that are able to use an existing infrastructure to supply them with energy.
Efficient local public transport with innovative Bus Rapid Transit systems from MAN
The wide range of bus chassis and complete buses from MAN forms an excellent basis for any BRT system. In several Chinese cities BRT routes are serviced by buses made under licence from MAN / NEOPLAN. In Dubai and Abu Dhabi, buses from MAN / NEOPLAN transport thousands of people to their destinations every day - a fast, smooth service in part on exclusive bus lanes. In Israel's port city of Haifa, 84 futuristic BRT articulated buses based on 18.75-m MAN low-floor-type floor assemblies were successfully taken into regular service in August. At the end of this year, additional MAN BRT buses will provide state-of-the-art passenger transport on the so-called "Red Line" in Tel Aviv.
Busworld 2013 sees MAN presenting a BRT version of the Lion's City GL designed for inner-city routes with especially high passenger volumes. The 18.75-metre articulated bus has five doors in double the normal width - one door more than the standard articulated bus. This ensures that even with a high passenger volume, the flow of passengers is optimal and the stops are very short. In addition, the interior seating architecture has been conceptualised for short distances and time-saving boarding and alighting. Passenger flow has been further optimised by equipping the vehicle with a total of nine ticket-validating machines, which are also capable of scanning electronic tickets purchased by smartphone. Moreover, the BRT vehicle offers its passengers a free WiFi hotspot for Internet access.
Its interior is compelling, with top-quality materials and innovative lighting: four light strips with more than 1,500 LEDs (energy-saving light-emitting diodes) illuminate the compartment, giving it a friendly, evenly-lit look. Two extra bright, pure white LED strips in the center of the ceiling provide the vehicle's basic illumination, while two more LED strips running the entire length of the bus are able to generate defined colours. They act as backlights to ceiling elements made of translucent polycarbonate, whose entire surfaces then take on the respective hue. The LED lighting reduces the power drain of the BRT bus, meaning that less generator output is required. Headlights equipped with LED daytime driving lights and rear lights employing the same technology make additional contributions to energy saving.
Propulsion is provided by an MAN E2876 CNG engine in Euro 6, for operation with either natural or bio-gas. Four-speed automatic transmission, SensoTop control and integrated retarder ensure especially eco-friendly urban local public transport. With a volume of 2050 litres, the CNG tanks on the vehicle roof enable a long operating range
Innovative studies in efficient local public transport
In cooperation with the Berlin Weissensee Academy of Art, MAN Truck & Truck has worked out various design concepts as a creative contribution to the advanced development of the omnibus. The results of the "Future of the Omnibus" study can be seen in innovative draft designs of vehicles for local public transport that sensibly combine ideas for the greatest possible mobility with unconventional product design. In joint discussions with bus experts from MAN, nine impressive concepts were worked out, ranging from KONVOI solutions for fleets of buses to a new driver workplace, from a draft interior design for variable, safe and fast passenger flows to compact, secure holders for bicycles and baby carriages in the passenger compartment. Intensive debate on this issue clearly showed just how much potential there is in the design of the bus as a transport mode.
In "What Cities Want", a study carried out for MAN by the Technical University of Munich, 15 metropolitan centers from around the world give accounts of how they want to develop attractive forms of urban mobility in the future. Using examples from different cities, the study demonstrates the opportunities that urbanisation offers. Even today, these cities are creating the prerequisites for efficient, accessible and ecologically sound mobility. The top priority: expansion and improvement of all aspects of local public transport. This entails primarily more routes, higher frequencies and greater reliability of service. This is how major cities are reacting to the demands of their citizens: next to travelling time, the quality of what local public transport offers is decisive in their selection of transport mode. Integrated mobility plans, combined modes of transport, ambitious environmental objectives and right-of-way for alternative drives: the study puts across several innovative solutions and provides an overview of the varied strategies for sustainable urban mobility.
In good hands - MAN Solutions and NEOPLAN VIP Card
MAN Solutions combines the services of MAN Service, MAN Support, MAN Rental and MAN Finance into integrated transport solutions precisely matched to the individual needs of each and every customer. For example, flexible financial, maintenance and repair contracts, transport companies can minimise the risk of incalculable costs for fleet management. MAN Solutions gives greater flexibility to monthly rates and straightforward adjustment of transport capacity to meet seasonal fluctuations in orders. Well-trained, motivated bus drivers are essential for the successful operation of a fleet. Qualified driver training helps to ensure that vehicles are always driven safely and efficiently, which for the company means a smaller risk of accidents and a reduction in fuel costs.
Exceptional services and special benefits in conjunction with NEOPLAN buses: customers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland obtain all this with the NEOPLAN VIP Card. With the new, extended program, cardholders secure special conditions and real competitive advantages. They are granted a ten-percent discount on all MAN Genuine spare parts when the vehicle is in the workshop, as well as special rates on training and courses at the NEOPLAN Academy. In the event of breakdown, there is no commission fee for MAN Mobile24. In addition, a 25-percent reduction is granted on all merchandise in the NEOPLAN Collection. The NEOPLAN VIP Card offers further benefits at sporting, cultural and social events.
MAN Lion's Coach also ideally suited for long-haul operation
In many countries, long-distance coaches are already established and a permanent element of the transport scene. In places where this is not yet the case, they are gaining ground as economical, comfortable and not least, environmentally friendly means of transport. This also applies, for example, in Germany, where the market for long-distance coaches was opened at the beginning of 2013. Long-distance coach routes are a real alternative when it comes to mobility, creating new connections between cities - fast, safely and economically. On coaches from MAN and NEOPLAN, passengers enjoy the highest levels of comfort. Operators benefit from efficient, fuel-saving vehicles that can be fitted with all the amenities that turn a long trip into an experience.
German TCB certifies particularly low fuel consumption
With a NEOPLAN Cityliner, MAN has proven just how economical coaches can be. MAN is presenting the test vehicle with its six-cylinder 440-hp MAN D26 engine in Euro 6 at Busworld 2013.
In cooperation with the Technical Board of Control (TÜV Sued), Germany's leading testing institute, a round course of 1,320 kilometres that can be seen as representative of a coach route was defined. The sections of the route are divided into motorway, secondary road and urban traffic. Based on the number of seats, the vehicle was then loaded up to the limit of its permitted gross weight. A professional driver carried out the test run, which took place under realistic conditions over two weekdays. Nothing occurred to interrupt the measuring runs. Subsequent to evaluation of the data recorded during the trips, the NEOPLAN Cityliner was certified as exhibiting the extremely economical fuel consumption of around 19.8 litres per hundred kilometres. With this record, the NEOPLAN Cityliner sets the standards in its field.
Low fuel consumption is also synonymous with low CO2 emission. At 60 percent utilisation, the NEOPLAN Cityliner emits a mere 18 grams of CO2 per passenger-kilometre, which makes it highly eco-friendly to operate. By comparison with aeroplanes (230.7 g C02/pkm), cars (142.3 g CO2/pkm) and trains (45.2 g CO2/pkm), this is an outstanding value, a fact confirmed by the figures released by the German Federal Environment Agency. When the vehicle is fully utilised, CO2 emission drops to only 11 g/pkm. This shows yet again that as a mode of transport, the coach is far and away the most environmentally friendly.
Its excellent fuel consumption is a result of the interplay between various factors. The modern sharp-cut design distinguishing all NEOPLAN buses is not only aesthetically pleasing but also serves to optimise consumption, having as it does a decisive influence on the aerodynamics of the vehicle. The NEOPLAN Cityliner impresses with its especially low drag coefficient (cW) of approximately 0.35 - that puts it at the level of a passenger car. Consistently lightweight construction means that less mass has to be moved. In combination with efficient MAN Euro 6 engines, MAN TipMatic automated transmissions and an economical style of driving, bus operators make great savings at the filling station.
NEOPLAN Cityliner – the stylish long-distance coach
Thanks to its special equipment for long-distance routes, the NEOPLAN Cityliner carries its passengers in luxury until they arrive relaxed at their destinations. For hunger pangs between meals, the vehicle can be fitted with a vending machine, available in three variants. The physical well-being of the passengers during the trip is optimally catered for in the form of snacks and cold beverages. If the optional hot-beverage vending machine with coin changer and touch panel is also selected, the bus becomes a café on wheels. Passengers pay for food and drink either in cash or in a straightforward manner using a smartphone.
To forestall boredom during the trip, the vehicle offers a comprehensive range of infotainment. There are various digital media offerings on board, accessible by means of tablets, which are handed out on loan. Passengers can, for example, choose any of a variety of digital magazines or travel guides, enabling them to plan what to do in the city while they're still on the bus. The reading offers can easily be stored on a server and be downloaded very quickly by passengers onto their own devices by WiFi. Thanks to free access, passengers can send and receive e-mails and surf the Internet while on the go – a unique selling point for coaches by comparison with air or rail travel. USB charging points at the seats supply the necessary power for personal electronic equipment. In addition to all these amenities, the long-distance coach is also fitted with a generously dimensioned WC offering 1.90-metre headroom.
Keeping things moving briskly is a powerful MAN D2676 six-cylinder engine outputting either 440 or 480 hp and complying with the Euro 6 standard. The optionally available "Long Distance Pack" is especially designed for the long haul and enhances both driving safety and comfort while reducing operating costs. The package contains the twelve-speed MAN TipMatic automated transmission with EasyStart function, which makes it much easier to pull away on gradients and thus takes the strain off the driver. The wider gear ratio Eco-Hypoid drive axle enables lower engine-speed levels at cruising speed.
Moreover, wear and tear on clutch and transmission are reduced, which in turn reduces service costs. Light, robust aluminium rims contribute to fuel-saving operation. Rounding off the package are intelligent driver assistance systems: besides CDS (comfort drive suspension) to decrease the rolling movement of the vehicle, the package also contains the lane guard system (LGS) and emergency brake assist (EBA). With the help of TPM (tyre-pressure monitoring), the pressure on all the vehicle's tyres can be continually monitored, thus reducing tyre wear. Customers who select the "Long Distance Pack" not only benefit from sensible additional equipment but also receive an attractive discount relative to the cost of purchasing the individual components singly.
MAN Lion's Coach – mobility for everyone
The MAN Lion's Coach is similarly a specialist for long-distance routes. Economical six-cylinder engines outputting 440 and 480 hp carry passengers efficiently to their destinations, also in compliance with Euro 6. Interaction with the twelve-speed MAN TipMatic automated transmission with EasyStart guarantees their low fuel consumption and outstanding handling characteristics. A trip in a coach fitted with long-distance equipment passes as though one had flown: vending machines for snacks and beverages plus first-class infotainment turn a trip into an experience. Ample leg-room, plenty of stowage space for luggage and high-grade interior offer the first-class comfort that MAN customers have come to expect. The electronic assistance systems support the driver in his or her high-responsibility driving tasks for a marked reduction in accident risks.
With the new wheelchair lift, the MAN Lion's Coach C and MAN Lion's Coach L offer superb travelling comfort to mobility-challenged passengers. The location of the rear axle means that the entire volume of the luggage compartment is available for use. The design of the rear interior is variable and can provide space for up to six wheelchairs. In this way, the MAN Lion's Coach enables mobility free of obstacles in conjunction with the highest level of passenger and luggage capacity.
For operation with particularly low fuel consumption, MAN now also offers the preconfigured Lion's Coach EfficientLine as a Euro 6 model. Since presentation, every third Lion's Coach customer has chosen this vehicle configuration, which was designed through and through to optimise consumption.
MAN has decades of experience and a wide range of products in the field of CNG technology
The number of gas-powered vehicles is steadily increasing. Every month sees more than a quarter of a million new CNG vehicles registered around the world. Current forecasts predict that by 2020 there will 65 million of them on the road. This also applies to local public transport, where more and more natural-gas buses are being operated as an economical and environmentally friendly alternative to the conventional diesel drive. Extracting, cleaning and transporting the fossil fuel with the lowest carbon content require comparatively little energy. As a result, natural gas boasts the highest CO2 efficiency of all fossil fuels in the "well-to-wheel" comparison. Without any need for technical modifications, CNG engines and buses from MAN can also be run on treated biogas, which makes operation CO2 neutral. A characteristic of natural gas is that it burns very cleanly by comparison with other fossil fuels, so that engines emit low levels of air pollutants such as carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter. This makes natural-gas buses an alternative that remains significantly below the levels required by Euro 6, currently the most stringent emission standard, completely without filter technology or additives. Since mid-2013 MAN has also been offering the complete range of CNG products in Euro 6 versions.
MAN CNG buses - an alternative that pays for itself
An analysis of the lifecycle costs of diesel and CNG buses shows the benefits for customers who choose natural gas as their power source. The purchase price of an MAN Lion's City CNG is around 20 percent higher than that of a diesel-powered vehicle in the same model range. Based on a service life of ten years at an average of 60,000 kilometres per annum, with a constant price of €1.40 per litre of diesel and €1.00 per kilogram of natural gas, the MAN Lion's City CNG saves fuel costs totalling approximately €150,000 by comparison with the diesel-powered version. The higher purchase price is thus quickly amortized. Of course, service and maintenance costs also have to be included in the analysis: due to the technology employed for the MAN Lion's City CNG, these are slightly higher. However, at a little under ten percent the additional cost relative to a diesel bus is moderate.
Natural gas and bio-gas are eco-friendly, economical, future-proof alternatives to conventional diesel power particularly for urban bus companies that are able to use an existing infrastructure to supply them with energy. Around the world there are many countries where the price of natural gas is lower than that of diesel fuel. Operators of natural-gas-powered buses are often able to take advantage of state incentives offered by governments wanting to increase the percentage of natural gas in the fuel mix. CNG buses also run particularly quietly because combustion in the gas-powered engine, like its petrol-driven counterpart, is initiated by spark plugs and therefore smooth as silk. And on top of all that, MAN's gas-powered engines convince with their long service intervals, are easy to service and can be fully diagnosed using MAN-Cats II.
Long experience in CNG drives and a wide range of products
MAN has more than 40 years' experience with natural-gas buses and has since the year 2000 delivered over 7,500 natural-gas buses, bus chassis with natural-gas engines and individual natural-gas engines.
There are currently two series of engines (E08 and E28) available for bus and bus-chassis applications in five output classes from 220 hp to 310 hp.
MAN also has an offering for complete buses, with no compromises: natural-gas-powered drives can be ordered as alternatives for just about every model in the MAN Lion's City range, from the 12-metre long solo bus to the 18.75-metre long articulated bus. Moreover, the MAN Lion's City CNG is also available in a version for hot countries. Special applications, for example a pre-separator for the air-intake system, ensure reliable operation in very dusty regions where temperatures are high. For the UK, MAN also offers the EcoCity, a right-hand-drive version especially adapted for this market. Easy to build on city-bus chassis from MAN with natural-gas engines round off the comprehensive portfolio.
The modular rooftop system can be selected individually for all models: a standardised aluminium frame provides space for between four and ten gas cylinders under the roof fairing.
MAN not only offers reliable technologies but is of course completely familiar with the servicing and repair of the high-pressure gas systems. If the customer requests it, training courses will ensure that MAN's know-how is competently transferred to the customer's own service personnel or an external service team. In addition, the global supply of spare parts for gas-powered buses is assured. This guarantees the smooth operation of the gas-powered buses made by MAN.
Franz Redwitz talks about electromobility in public transport
Tighter exhaust standards, stricter legislation and increased sense of responsibility for the environment are fueling the development of alternative means of powering. Franz Redwitz, Head of Product Marketing Bus & Coach at MAN Truck & Bus, spoke in the leadup to Busworld 2013 about the development of alternative powering sources for buses, pointing to the fact that electromobility does not automatically mean ecological friendliness.
Mr Redwitz, what kind of a role does electromobility play for MAN Truck & Bus?
Electromobility is obviously high up on the agenda for MAN, as throughout the vehicle industry. But you have to take a differentiated view of things. Purely electrically powered buses are at present neither economical nor ready to go into series. There are a number of reasons for this: For one thing, operating electric vehicles efficiently calls for large investment in infrastructure. Then, also important, you have operational safety, cost and service life of the batteries. The batteries available at the moment are very expensive, plus they need to be replaced every five to six years.
Not forgetting the extremely high weight of these batteries. Even the next battery generation won't match diesel or gas in terms of energy density. I'll illustrate it by a comparison: The energy density of a modern electrical battery is maximally about 150 watt hours per kilogram. A liter of diesel on the other hand gives you 11,800 watt hours per kilogram. So you see, batteries have a long way to go in energy density if you want to drive a city bus fully electrically for a whole day without any interruptions. The alternative is either very high vehicle weight, or a special and pretty complex infrastructure for recharging in between.
But the biggest challenge posed by electromobility is probably safety. Batteries consist of single cells that have to be combined into packages. The result needs to be absolutely safe because you can't have an electric bus that's in any way less safe than a diesel or gas powered bus. Batteries must be installed and safeguarded in vehicles to prevent them exploding or releasing harmful substances into the environment in case of a defect or accident, for instance. That means another increase in vehicle weight.
There's a bigger demand emerging for emission-free zones in cities. Isn't complete electrification an especially environment-friendly alternative for public transport?
There are different aspects to that kind of argument. The bare facts tell us that an electric vehicle isn't automatically efficient or environment-friendly. In Europe energy is generated from different sources and then mixed. If energy won from wind power is mixed with current from coal-fired power stations, for example, that also increases carbon dioxide emissions. Which means that electric vehicles aren't the optimum way of reducing greenhouse gases.
A recently published study from DENA – the German Energy Agency – found that biogas and electric power have an identically small carbon dioxide footprint. Taking the complete energy chain that's about five grammes per kilometer. But that only applies for two factors: The biogas must be produced entirely from manure, biogenic waste material or waste water, the electricity from purely regenerative sources. The study assumes this. The emissions from all other types of fuel are 15 to 30 times higher. This isn't especially surprising for conventional modes of powering. But it's often not realized that supposedly clean fuels like ethanol or biodiesel cause substantial carbon dioxide emissions.
Is going hybrid an alternative?
Yes, no doubt. In the MAN Lion´s City Hybrid we already have series produced and economical, future technologies up and running. In this way we're constantly gaining experience in what's decisive to make electromobility efficient: in energy management onboard a city bus. With its serial hybrid drive this low-floor bus saves up to 30 percent on diesel and CO2. While conventional buses convert their braking energy into heat – by service brake and retarder – the MAN Lion's City Hybrid saves this braking energy in ultracaps and transforms it into power to drive its two electric motors.
Another advantage of hybrid buses is the reduced noise. When pulling away from a stop, the bus moves fully electrically. The diesel engine doesn't cut in until after a few hundred meters. That avoids bothersome noise where a conventional bus causes most. The noise level in the interior is also extremely low.
Basically then, we're already offering a ready electric bus that can manage without an internal combustion engine if, as the next step, you replace the diesel engine by batteries or another energy source. A series hybrid vehicle also presents the advantage of recharging during operation. In that way we combine the best of two worlds. Experience with the MAN Lion´s City Hybrid is very satisfactory: To date there are more than 200 MAN hybrid buses working successfully in European cities.
What's the role of natural gas and biogas as alternative power sources?
In public transport you see an increasing number of natural-gas-powered buses as an investment for the future, as an economical, environment-friendly alternative to conventional diesel. Compared to other fossil fuels, natural gas shows especially high CO2 efficiency. Natural gas also combusts very cleanly, so engines emit low levels of air pollutants such as carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter. Using biogas, buses can even be operated CO2 neutral.
The price of natural gas is often lower than that of diesel fuel. Operators of natural-gas-powered buses also frequently benefit from state incentives. Given their very soft fuel combustion, CNG buses are especially quiet on the roads.
When do you think we'll see fully electric buses in public transport?
Demands for purely electric operation of buses will increase. So there's no getting around electrification, and longterm it will become a sine qua non for all European bus producers. As soon as economical operation of fully electric buses is possible – and there's appreciable demand for them – MAN will be able to deliver.
In the Lion´s City Hybrid and a wide-ranging portfolio of CNG buses, MAN offers CO2-efficient options as alternatives for the future of public city transport.
This year’s Busworld in Kortrijk – the leading bus trade fair in Europe – has seen Rudi Kuchta (47) crowned “Busbuilder of the Year 2013”. The prize is a personal award presented to individuals of outstanding merit in the industry every two years. Kuchta, who is Senior Vice President of the Product & Sales Bus unit, won the judges over with his long-term commitment in the bus industry.
In addition to unbroken service for a bus company, the criteria for the award include visionary thinking and implementation of forward-looking projects. Kuchta started his career at Neoplan back in 1992 and has headed the Bus sales unit at MAN Truck & Bus AG since 2009.
“This award fills me with pride – it is confirmation of MAN Truck & Bus’s successful work. I would like to thank the colleagues and employees who demonstrate dedication and great commitment every day when developing and building our unique buses,” said Kuchta when presented with the prize.
Since 2012 more than 350 city buses have been built on MAN chassis
At the Busworld Exhibition in Kortrijk, Belgium, the Head of Product Marketing Bus & Coach, Franz von Redwitz, presented the MAN Award to the body manufacturer Gemilang Coachwork. In 2012 and 2013 this Malaysian company has built more than 350 coaches on MAN chassis. This makes the company the biggest MAN coach builder. By the end of 2013 an additional 400 city buses are due to be delivered to the city bus operator SMRT in Singapore.
Gemilang Coachwork is Asia’s fastest growing bus- and coach-body manufacturer and has been working together with MAN for over 15 years. The two-axle MAN low-floor chassis with modern common-rail diesel engines are produced in the MAN works in Europe and are then shipped out to Malaysia.
Franz von Redwitz: “We are very pleased that the implementation of our body-manufacturer strategy has intensified our collaboration with our partners. Gemilang has done a splendid job. I am quite sure that our cooperation over the coming years will mean that we are able to implement many more customer-specific solutions.”
MAN collaborates with 75 body manufacturers who construct city buses and touring coaches on MAN chassis for their local markets. The MAN chassis offers body manufacturers the advantage of a mature, perfectly coordinated drive train with efficient engines, transmissions and axles, full air suspension and extensive electronic interfaces.