At MAN‘s plant in Starachowice, Poland, series production of battery-powered city buses was successfully launched at the beginning of October.
MAN to Deliver 17 Electric Buses
The first customer vehicle to come off the assembly line is the 12-metre solo version of the Lion’s City E. These will be heading off to the Hamburg-Holstein public transportation company (VHH). The all-electric Lion’s City E in the articulated bus version will follow approximately six months later, and should go into series production in the first half of 2021.
The all-electric MAN Lion’s City E is flexibly built in the production process with the other models of the new city bus generation on one line and without bridging.
A great deal of thought went into finding ways to fully integrate the production sequence into the existing setup. After all, on the electric bus, around 30 to 40 per cent of the body shell alone is different to that of its conventional counterpart. Then there is the electric driveline, the batteries and other high-voltage components. As part of the production preparation process in Starachowice, new systems had to be purchased or existing ones upgraded, processes had to be re-engineered and around 3,500 employees had to go through extensive training.
17 new electric buses are to be handed over to the Hamburg-Holstein public transportation company (VHH) by the end of the year. For MAN, this is the first major delivery to a customer off the back of a tender process. Other cities have followed Hamburg’s suit by ordering the Lion’s City E and introducing zero-emission vehicles into their public transport network. One of these orders has come from Malmö in Sweden: Nobina Sverige AB, Scandinavia’s largest bus operator, has placed an order for 22 MAN Lion’s City E buses.
“I am delighted that we are now able to supply the innovative and multi-award-winning Lion’s City E as a series-produced vehicle. The start of series production is an important milestone on the e-mobility roadmap for MAN Truck & Bus and for the site in Starachowice. In doing so, we are expanding our production portfolio and taking another strategic step towards sustainable mobility,” says Michael Kobriger, Executive Board Member for Production & Logistics at MAN Truck & Bus and Board Mentor for the Business Unit Bus.
The MAN site in Starachowice, Poland is the competence centre for the production of low-floor city buses and bus chassis. Last year, more than 2,300 complete buses and around 1,400 bus chassis were manufactured at the plant last year.