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Mercedes-Benz’ eCitaro to be powered by AKASOL’s second generation Li-ion batteries

Daimler Buses’ and AKASOL’s long-term cooperation for the development and mass-production of battery systems for the electric bus eCitaro is going from strength to strength.

In autumn, serial production of the first-generation battery system AKASYSTEM OEM will begin in Langen (Hesse, Germany) as planned. Meanwhile, AKASOL is starting to develop second-generation lithium-ion battery systems in close cooperation with Daimler Buses.

Being upwards compatible, these will offer about 35% more energy and contribute to an improved range in 2020.

Instead of the current 25 kilowatt hours storage capacity per battery pack, the second generation will be able to store 33 kilowatt hours per battery pack. This means an increase of 35% from 243 to 330 kilowatt hours per vehicle while maintaining the same constructed space, weight and upwards compatibility.

This is made possible thanks to the unique, flexible system architecture that AKASOL offers. According to Daimler Buses, this technology leap, in conjunction with other factors, contributes to an increase of the vehicle’s range to approximately 200 kilometres (SORT2 cycles, medium traffic) and up to 250 kilometres when operating under ideal circumstances.

“In addition to improved battery cells many other small optimisations, for instance in the battery management system and the mechanical architecture, contribute to the improvements of the second-generation systems”, explains AKASOL’s CEO Sven Schulz. “Since the beginning of our partnership in 2015 we have developed great mutual trust, which we see as a wonderful acknowledgement of our products and company. Having been tasked with the second generation even before starting serial production on the first type, is a good sign.”

The lithium-ion battery systems of both generations are able to charge rapidly (at up to 300 kilowatt) and supply energy to additional units such as air conditioning and electrical systems. The key factor for providing robustness and durability is AKASOL’s efficient water-cooling which guarantees stable tempering at 25 degrees Celsius and allows battery-run buses to operate in all climates. The high-performance battery systems are partly mounted on the roof, partly in the rear.

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