Moscow tests Finnish electric bus with rapid recharge system

Moscow tests Finnish electric bus with rapid recharge system
The city is evaluating the performance of this new type of bus to establish its viability.

According to General Director of Mosgortrans Yevgeny Mikhailov, a Finnish-built Linkker electric bus is being tested in Moscow. 

Mikhailov said the test period would run through May. “We’re testing this electric bus to see how its systems function and how the technology works because it differs from the electric buses which we approved for operation earlier,” Mikhailov said. 

He added that the two-week trial had produced good results. “The bus is light, weighing only 10 tonnes, and takes only four or five minutes for partial recharges at stops along its route; and it doesn’t require a huge investment in infrastructure for overnight recharging equipment,” Mikhailov said. “It is being tested for two weeks with ballast imitating a partially full bus. Then we’ll test it when it’s fully packed to check its durability.”

The Linkker electric bus was offered by Helsingin Seudun Liikenne, a public transport operator in Helsinki. The model’s cruising range is 50 kilometres.  The batteries can be recharged at stops along the route that are from four to ten minutes long. The vehicle has a low floor, air conditioning, and can carry up to 77 passengers; its service life is 15 years.

Mosgortrans is also testing an electric bus made by GAZ, the Russian industrial group. Earlier, it tested an electric bus made by KAMAZ, a lorry manufacturer. Also, another electric bus model, the E433, manufactured by Belkommunmash Plant in Belarus is being tested on Moscow’s streets. The vehicle is adapted for use by low-mobility people and can carry an increased number of passengers, specifically, 153, seated and standing.  

“A preliminary agreement has been reached with a Chinese manufacturer to test its electric bus,” Mikhailov said. “We’re trying to develop requirements that will help us choose the technology that best suits Moscow’s needs, so that in the next few years we can start investing in the project to revise and reorganise the city’s energy sector and also to develop the production of commercial electric buses for Moscow.”

According to Mikhailov, SVARZ (Sokolnichesky Carriage Repair and Building Works) is likely to start building electric buses using Finnish technology. “My colleagues are contemplating SVARZ as a production site,” he said. “If we decide to buy electric buses, we’ll have to bring the technology to Moscow, so that these vehicles are assembled in Russia to the fullest extent possible. In this sense, this model is important to us as it allows us to manufacture 100 percent of an electric bus domestically with existing production facilities.”