The green light has arrived and Daimler Truck has announced that it will start production of the Mercedes-Benz eO500U electric bus chassis, which it first presented in August 2021. Plans aim to build the first platforms between November and December 2022, with the in line with the growth in demand for this type of bus in Brazil, the largest economy in Latin America.
An alliance with Marcopolo was also announced, to carry out new tests of the model, considering that the prototype was developed with the São Paulo manufacturer Caio, owned by the Ruas group. However, there are two units of the eO500U that continue in test sessions, one in Germany and the other in São Paulo.
According to those responsible for sales and marketing of Buses Mercedes-Benz in Brazil, the operators will be able to count on financial support from the National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES). This is the main state entity for the promotion of the South American giant, and they presented a proposal where they will finance directly, a great difference considering that Daimler Truck has the Mercedes-Benz Bank in the country.
The eO500U project was developed with an investment close to US$19 million and is a model designed for standard buses with a maximum capacity of 84 passengers. Its batteries allow a range of around 250 km, using four packs, but if six packs of accumulators are installed, the range can reach 300 km. Daimler Truck has not revealed the exact price of a bus with this technology, but estimates that they are between 3 and 3.5 times more expensive than an equivalent diesel.
According to Daimler Truck forecasts, in Brazil alone a demand of more than 3,000 electric buses is estimated in the country's cities, and some 1,000 of them would be delivered in 2023. São Paulo alone requires some 2,600 units by 2024 and The brand will also have to consider the needs of mass transit projects and BRT corridors in markets such as Colombia and Chile, where there are operator contracts that must end in the coming months, as well as additional tenders for both zones and corridors.