Giant global commercial vehicle maker, Daimler Truck has announced it is set to start assembly of its first Mercedes-Benz electric bus in Brazil later this year.
The company said manufacturing of the electric buses in Brazil between November and December as demand grows in Latin America’s largest economy.
T&B News understands that the Mercedes Benz electric bus that Australia is to get, will likely be sourced from the Brazilian plant. We understand that Australia’s restrictive width rules has meant that the completely built up Mercedes eCitaro, which was originally thought to have been the electric bus the company wanted to bring here, has been ruled out for our market. It seems changes local width rules are still firmly stuck in the last century, preventing many advanced commercial vehicles like the eCitaro from reaching our roads.
When Australia will receive the first Brazilian built electric buses is unclear at this stage.
The company said it sees demand for electric buses in Brazil to climb from around 1000 buses next year to around 3,000 vehicles by 2024, according to its Bus sales and marketing director. Walter Barbosa.
The Mercedes-Benz brand is expected to join China-based BYD and some local importers in the Brazilian electric market.
Most of the vehicles would be operated in Sao Paulo as the city aims to have 2,600 electric buses by 2024. The overall bus market in Brazil, will see between 17,000 and 21,000 buses sold there this year, depending on the management of an ongoing auto parts shortage afflicting the entire automotive industry globally.
Daimler is claimed to have invested roughly $AUD27.6 million ($US18.62 million) in the Brazilian manufacturing operation.
The Mercedes-Benz’s 84-passenger electric bus which will be built there which is the E solution chassis EO500U, boasts a 250km range, and will be equipped with two electric motors, with claimed full recharge taking between 2.5 and 3 hours.
Daimler Truck did not reveal how much the electric bus would cost, but said prices are expected to be 3 to 3.5 times higher than those of a conventional diesel bus.