Despite the general public impression of Russia as being relatively opposed to renewable energy and electric vehicles, the city of Moscow will actually, reportedly, be getting a fleet of electric buses in 2016. Though, some questions remain, based on the coverage of the situation that I’ve read (I can’t read Russian, so this is all going through a translation program).
The head of the Department of Transportation and Development of road transport infrastructure, and the deputy mayor of Moscow, Maxim Liksutov, commented: “I think that Moscow has a great future in terms of electric buses. We really want to buy electric buses, trolley buses is a worthy replacement, because the trolley on the Garden Ring is immobile and creates problems for road users. We expect next year to start buying. We would, first of all, put them on plots in the city center. We need a few hundred. Number of trolleybuses ‘B’, who go on the Garden Ring, about 40. We are waiting for the Russian industry a good quality product.”
So, from the sounds of it, the only thing holding up wider adoption is the desire to source from Russian companies, rather than relying on imports.
Here’s more via GeekTimes.ru:
Earlier, the Director General of the State Unitary Enterprise “Mosgortrans” Yevgeny Mikhailov, told the journalists that the electric bus LIAZ-6274 (reported range — 280 kilometers) production “Likino Bus Plant” (“LiAZ”) has worked in the Russian capital two or three weeks after which have been found quite serious problems in the energy management system. Now experts “LiAZ” is replaced by electric bus system, causing problems. It is expected that very soon will test electric buses on the line. It is expected that the test will last electric buses until the early 2016, after which they are to be commercial production and procurement of the authorities in Moscow.
In addition to electric buses ‘LiAZ’ experience in the Russian capital and other electric buses, including co-production company Drive Electro and “Kamaz”. The question of the supply of electric buses Drive Electro in Moscow and Moscow region worked out by the government of the region, but the decision depends on the results of the pilot operation in the winter season. That operation at this time of year is the greatest concern among experts.
The General Director of Drive Electro, Sergei Ivanov, commented: “Drive Drive Electro second generation allows you to charge electric bus unimpeded even in minus 40 degrees (Celsius), but ‘Mosgortrans’ should be able to test it in practice. For us it seems obvious that the urban passenger transport will switch to battery power.”
Apparently, the suburbs of Russian cities won’t be getting electric buses anytime soon, though, with some statements on the subject being somewhat harsh: “Bus fleet suburbs are now being translated into alternative fuels. But now we are considering as an alternative to compressed gas, liquefied petroleum gas and natural gas. The electric bus is out of the question,” stated a spokesman with the Ministry of Energy of the Moscow region.