The Rhein-Ruhr Transport Network (VRR), which incorporates WSW mobil GmbH, established an incentive program for buses equipped with hybrid technology as early as 2009. Based on "innovative projects targeting improvements to public local transport", the program has so far subsidised around 70 VRR hybrid buses. As part of a research program, the target is to boost know-how and gain practical experience with this new technology and to make this information available to other transport companies and vehicle manufacturers.
"Wuppertal is the perfect location for operating the Citaro G BlueTEC® Hybrid," comments Ulrich Piotrowski, who is responsible for the market launch of Mercedes-Benz hybrid and electric-drive buses. "The varied topography offers great opportunities for energy recuperation through braking, but can also highlight problem areas on challenging routes. Such practical experience in everyday operation is invaluable for the further development of electric vehicles."