Mercedes-Benz OC 500 LE

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Mercedes-Benz OC 500 LE
Transperth Mercedes-Benz OC500LE CNG.jpg
Transperth Volgren bodied OC500LE in Perth, Australia in April 2017
Overview
Manufacturer Mercedes-Benz (EvoBus)
Assembly
  • Germany
  • Spain: Sámano
Body and chassis
Doors 1 or 2 doors
Floor type Low entry
Related
  • Mercedes-Benz OC 500 LF
  • Mercedes-Benz OC 500 LFA
  • Mercedes-Benz OC 500 RF
Powertrain
Engine
  • Mercedes-Benz OM457hLA
  • Mercedes-Benz M447hLAG (CNG)
  • Mercedes-Benz OM936 (Euro VI)
Transmission
  • Voith
  • ZF
Dimensions
Length 10.8 metres/11.2 metres/11.7 metres/12.0 metres/12.8 metres/13.5 metres (bodied)
Width 2.5m
Chronology
Predecessor Mercedes-Benz O405N/O405NH

The Mercedes-Benz OC 500 LE is a modular, heavy-duty, twin-axle bus chassis produced by Mercedes-Benz/EvoBus Ibérica, Spain. It was designed as a modular platform for low-entry city, suburban, and intercity buses with a maximum gross vehicle weight of 19.1 tonnes. The main modules consist of: 1) driver's pedestal, 2) front axle, 3) buggy centre section, 4) drive axle and 5) engine. It has much in common with the chassis used for the Mercedes-Benz Citaro integral bus range, and also the raised floor OC 500 RF coach chassis. The engine is horizontally mounted over the rear overhang.

Mercedes-Benz in Brazil manufacture a low-entry chassis known as the O 500 U,[1] which is related to the OC 500 LE, but is not identical. It is also available as the articulated O 500 UA and the quad-axle articulated O 500 UDA, with the latter giving a vehicle length of 23 metres.[2] The O 500 U is also available in Australia, marketed as O 500U.

Technical details[edit]

Mercedes-Benz OC 500 LE chassis on display at the 2013 Australian Bus & Coach Show

Variations[edit]

OC 500 LE 1825h
OC 500 LE 1825hG
  • Engine type: M 447 hLAG (Euro IV/Euro V/EEV) inline 6-cylinder 11.967-litre turbocharged intercooled, lean burn, spark ignition single point injection CNG
  • Power: 185 kW (252 hp) @ 2000 rpm
  • Torque: 1050 N m (774 ft·lbf) @ 1000-1400 rpm
OC 500 LE 1830h
  • Engine type: OM 457 hLA (Euro III/Euro IV/Euro V/EEV) inline 6-cylinder 11.967-litre turbocharged intercooled, direct injection diesel
  • Power: 220 kW (299 hp) @ 2000 rpm
  • Torque: 1250 N m (921 ft·lbf) @ 1100 rpm
OC 500 LE Euro VI[3]
  • Engine type: OM 936 (Euro VI) inline 6-cylinder 7.698-litre turbocharged intercooled, direct injection diesel
  • Power: 220 kW (299 hp) @ 1200 rpm
  • Torque: 1200 N m @ 1200-1600 rpm

Initially available with Euro III engines, the OC 500 LE chassis got upgraded to Euro IV, Euro V and EEV-compliant diesel engines using AdBlue Selective Catalytic Reduction technology. With Euro IV, Euro V and EEV, the 252 hp rating of the OM 457 hLA was discontinued, making the 299 hp engine as standard for the OC 500 LE. It is also available with the OM 936 engine in Euro VI markets.

Transmissions[edit]

Currently, Mercedes-Benz only offers a ZF EcoLife 6-speed automatic transmission with integrated hydraulic retarder (model 6 AP 1200 B for the 252 hp CNG engine or model 6 AP 1400 B for the 299 hp diesel engine). Previously available was the Voith D864.3E 4-speed automatic transmission as well as the ZF Ecomat 5 HP 502/592 5-speed and 6 HP 502/592 6-speed automatic transmissions.

Australia[edit]

Sydney Buses Custom Coaches bodied OC 500 LE at Circular Quay in June 2014

Large numbers of buses built on the OC 500 LE chassis can be found in Australia, where it is marketed as the O 500LE.[4]

Transperth operate 540 Volgren bodied examples, 474 being CNG powered.[5][6] There have been 15 OC 500 LE CNG fires in Perth, and in October 2013, the Public Transport Authority commenced legal action against Mercedes-Benz, Evobus and Volgren.[7] The action was dropped in 2014.[8]

Sydney Buses purchased 255 CNG and 20 diesel powered examples, all with Custom Coaches bodies, however one was destroyed by fire in June 2011.[9] Other purchasers included Ventura Bus Lines (72), Brisbane Transport (40), Premier Illawarra (38), Kefford Corporation (19) and Darwin Bus Service (14).[10][11][12][13][14]

Many operators across Australia have now purchased the OC 500 LE in various configurations. Problems related to quality control and unreliable electronics have not been uncommon. A lot of these complaints have come from drivers due to some units being under-powered, uncomfortable or rough.

Brisbane Transport withdrew its O 500 LEs from the fleet for a short period because of a major unidentified fault which caused buses to suddenly accelerate without warning. This problem was fixed by Mercedes-Benz and these vehicles are now back on the road. However, as they were under lease from Mercedes-Benz, their lease expired in 2013 and were then sold to Transit Systems Sydney where they currently operate.[15]

In January 2009, Mercedes-Benz Australia issued a recall on 443 CNG-fuelled OC 500 LE units due to respecified welding specifications for the turbocharger oil supply pipe.[16]

Singapore[edit]

SMRT Buses[edit]

The first Mercedes-Benz OC 500 LE (SMB1H) commissioned in Singapore
Interior of the SMRT Buses Mercedes-Benz OC 500 LE demonstrator SMB1H

SMRT Buses had taken delivery of 134 Mercedes-Benz OC 500 LEs for fleet replacement and expansion. These buses feature bodywork built by Gemilang Coachworks of Malaysia and assembled by Thonburi Busbody Limited of Thailand,[17] with a CapaCity licensed front from Mercedes-Benz, engines that meet Euro V emissions standards and are SMRT's first wheelchair accessible buses (WABs). They were the first to feature voice announcement system, with announcements similar to the ones used on the MRT. They are also the first buses in South-East Asia to be fitted with a Euro V engine. The last bus to be registered, SMB134H, was registered on 1 October 2009.

Demonstrator

The first OC 500 LE took part in the launch of SMRT's Go Green event on 30 April 2008. The bus was later registered as SMB1H and initially entered revenue service on Service 190 on 29 June 2008. It was later redeployed to operate on Service 172, only half a year into service. It is currently used as a Kranji Bus Depot (KJDEP) training bus with a new design of EZ-Link card readers installed.

First production batch

The batch were registered in the ranges of SMB2E to SMB67T. The first few units of this batch were put to service from 22 September 2008 onwards.

Second production batch

The second production batch featured many more differences as compared to its first batch counterparts, most notably its interior. Blue as well as purple colour schemes were used on the seats in contrast to the first batch's corporate colour seats. Stickers greeting onboard passengers can be found at the front and the rear of the bus. A blue tint situated on the top of the windscreen below the Electronic Destination System reduces glare from the sun, and more grab poles and aircon outlets were added at the last few rows of seats.

They were registered from SMB68R till SMB134H. The first few units commenced passenger service on 1 July 2009, almost a year to the day the first unit of the OC 500 LE (SMB1H) made its first trip. They can be mostly found on WAB-certified services, similar to the first production batch.

SMB91Y is installed with Mobitec MobiLED EDS replacing its original EDS, LAWO BENEFIT EDS due to accident on January 2012.

SBS Transit[edit]

SBS Transit received one unit of the Mercedes-Benz OC 500 LE for demonstration purposes in early 2009. It features bodywork built by Gemilang Coachworks, though it looks slightly different from the SMRT version which has a CapaCity licensed front. SBS Transit then rejected the trial and now the bus belongs to Chitson Transport, registered as PA9588S.

United Kingdom[edit]

Carousel Buses MCV Evolution bodied OC 500 LE in December 2013

Small numbers of OC 500 LEs bodied by MCV have entered service in the United Kingdom.[18] The first bus was unveiled in March 2010, and was also exhibited at IAA Hanover 2010. A number have been purchased by Carousel Buses for use to and from Heathrow Airport for express services.

Norway[edit]

In 2004, Vest Busscar bodied nine OC 500 LE 1825h with its Center L bodywork for Nettbuss. One was used in the Østfold region, while the other eight entered city traffic in Kristiansund. All eight OC 500 LEs in Kristiansund were exported in 2014, with some of them appearing in Estonia.[19] No other OC 500 LE have been bodied, nor imported to Norway.

Portugal[edit]

  • Irmãos Mota Atomic UR2000, UR2005, UR2011, URB2014 and Urbis
  • Marcopolo Viale

Serbia[edit]

Ikarbus IK-112LE, in production as of September 2015, used in Belgrade urban and suburban bus system.[20] Ikarbus offers 2 versions, with 2 or 3 sets of doors. More than 60 is produced. Ikarbus offers suburban version with softer anti-vandal seats and a place for hand luggage.

Spain[edit]

  • Unvi Urbis
  • Hispano Habit
  • Hispano Intea
  • Burillo
  • Sunsundegui Astral
  • Castrosúa Magnus
  • Noge Intertouring

Competitors[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ônibus Urbano - O 500 U Mercedes-Benz Brasil (Visited 3 March 2015)
  2. ^ Dados Técnicos - O-500 UDA 3736 Mercedes-Benz Brasil (Visited 3 March 2015)
  3. ^ Chassis OC 500 LE Euro VI - Technische Daten Mercedes-Benz (Visited 2 March 2015)
  4. ^ O 500LE City/Route Bus Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific (Visited 3 March 2015)
  5. ^ Mercedes-Benz OC500LE CNG Perth Bus Info
  6. ^ Mercedes-Benz OC500LE Perth Bus Info
  7. ^ Natasha Boddy and Kent Acott (3 August 2013). "Legal action on gas bus fires". The West Australian. Retrieved 24 October 2013. 
  8. ^ Perth gas buses to be modified Herald Sun 22 August 2014
  9. ^ State Transit Authority Australian Bus Fleet Lists
  10. ^ Ventura Bus Group Australian Bus Fleet Lists
  11. ^ Mercedes-Benz O500LE BT Buses Info
  12. ^ Premier Illawarra Australian Bus Fleet Lists
  13. ^ CDC Group Australian Bus Fleet Lists
  14. ^ Darwin Bus Service Australian Bus Fleet Lists
  15. ^ Australian Bus Fleet Lists - Transit Systems Sydney
  16. ^ Mercedes-Benz/EvoBus OC500LE Australian Competition & Consumer Commission 6 April 2009
  17. ^ http://www.busandtrucks.com/online/page.php?a=1&n=11
  18. ^ Mercedes-Benz OC500LE Bus Lists on the Web
  19. ^ 047 BML, Temptrans AS ebus.ee (Visited 3 March 2015)
  20. ^ IK-112LE Ikarbus (Visited 15 October 2015)

OC 500 LE chassis – technical data Mercedes-Benz UK (Visited 2 March 2015)

External links[edit]

Media related to Mercedes-Benz OC 500 LE at Wikimedia Commons