Up to 30% less CO2: Hybrid city bus in Nuremberg beats all expectations

Permanent Secretary Dagmar Wöhrl: "IDEAS research project is a one hundred percent success" / Hybrid bus from MAN to go into series production at the end of 2010

The hybrid city bus from MAN Nutzfahrzeuge achieved fuel savings of up to 30% under real public transport conditions in Nuremberg. This is the equivalent of a reduction in CO2 emission of almost a third. These are the striking results of the IDEAS project, which was funded by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology. At the presentation of the research project results, Dagmar Wöhrl, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, expressed her pleasure at this feat of engineering: "We supported the participating companies in their research work and in doing so, initiated the series development of modern, environmentally-friendly hybrid drives for city buses. The German economy will gain from this, so will the urban public transport services who will in future be able to operate these efficient vehicles, and so will our environment," said Ms Wöhrl. The MAN Lion’s City Hybrid city bus, which is based on the Nuremberg prototype, will go into series production at MAN Nutzfahrzeuge at the end of 2010. "I am very proud of the fact that the city of Nuremberg is the nucleus of this future-oriented drive for city buses, which will very soon be providing environmentally-friendly urban public transport in German and many other European cities," added Ms Wöhrl.

Since 2005, MAN Nutzfahrzeuge and Siemens A&D have been developing and testing hybrid drive systems with diesel engines for inner-urban operation in the framework of the IDEAS project. (The German acronym stands for "Innovativer Diesel-Elektrischer Hybrid-Antrieb für Stadtbusse", lit. "innovative diesel-electric hybrid drive for city buses", which is a project funded by the Federal Ministry for Economics and Technology.) The vehicles built for this project are being tested under real operational conditions in the Nuremberg public transport system. A major aspect of the trials looks at the impact on the bus operator – possible changes in investment, operating costs and servicing expenditure.

The first phase of the IDEAS project has now been successfully completed. In terms of economy and reliability, the city bus with its serial hybrid drive and ultracaps for energy storage proved to be a resounding success in real public transport operation in Nuremberg. With fuel savings of up to 25%, in some cases as much as 30%, the results of the trials exceeded even the developers' expectations. Thanks to this positive experience, MAN Nutzfahrzeuge has fostered the series development of the Lion’s City Hybrid and the environmentally-friendly city bus will go into series production at the end of 2010.

In the same project, a second hybrid bus will go into operation during the course of this year in order to test and evaluate a battery-supported hybrid system. In the long term, developers see great chances for the new lithium-ion batteries, which have already been deployed in the prototype MAN TGL hybrid distribution truck shown in 2008. The second hybrid city bus is similarly equipped with sophisticated instruments for measuring all the relevant energy flows, system behaviour and fuel consumption during operation. The operation of this hybrid bus will be accompanied by VAG Nuremberg as well as by MAN Nutzfahrzeuge. The continuation of the IDEAS project ensures that local public transport systems can in future continue to be supplied with vehicles that are both efficient in consumption and low in emissions.