Moscow to stop purchasing diesel buses starting 2021

Moscow to stop purchasing diesel buses starting 2021
Electric buses have better maneuverability than trolleybuses, they do not interfere with other traffic and do not pollute the air.

In 2021 the city will stop purchasing diesel buses and will switch to electric buses for public surface transit, Sergei Sobyanin wrote on his Vkontakte page.

The corresponding regulation to amend the Transport Infrastructure Development programme was signed at a Moscow Government Presidium meeting.

”We are currently testing a range of electric buses, both Russian and foreign. The results show that foreign buses are better quality and are better equipped for the job, but we hope that Russian manufacturers will be able to provide us with a competitive prototype soon,” Sergei Sobyanin said. “We have been testing prototypes under actual operating conditions. We need to finish working on the technical aspects and put out the first tender for electric buses before the end of this year.”

The use of electric buses will lower emission levels (electric buses are 100 percent eco-friendly) and are more comfortable with reduced levels of noise and vibration inside the vehicle. New electric bus designs have many other advantages, such as new services for passengers (including USB charging ports) and low floors without different levels. And, they can maneuver better than trolleybuses and so don’t interfere with other traffic as much.  Also, the lack of catenary (overhead cables) means that the city streets will look better.

Electric buses will also reduce operating costs and make maintenance easier. The operating costs of electric buses are 10 percent lower than of trolleybuses.

Total cost per km of trolleybus versus electric bus


Trolleybus (Amortization term – 12 years)

Electric bus (Amortization term – 15 years)



Energy, rouble/km




Results of Belkommunmash electric bus tests

Amortization, rouble/km





Total infrastructure costs, rouble/km




More modern and reliable infrastructure, less vulnerable to environmental conditions including extreme weather,  such as freezing rain or high winds

Maintenance costs, rouble/km




Including battery replacement costs






For the past two and a half years the city has been testing various electric buses on Moscow streets, such as Russia’s first and second generation LiAz-6274 buses, Russia’s KamAZ-6282, Belarus’ 43303A manufactured by Belkommunmash, and BKM E433 Vitovt Max Electro, Finland’s Linkker 13 and China’s Youtong. The President of the GAZ Group, Vadim Sorokin, reported that the total distance of LiAZ electric bus testing was over 13,500 kilometres. Over 25,000 passengers used the buses during testing.

“The electric bus prototype that we have been testing in Moscow for seven months was designed in collaboration with experts and scientists at Bauman Moscow State Technical University,” Vadim Sorokin said. “The design was based on a model that showed great results during testing.” He also stressed, that since 2010 the city had purchased and put into operation 8,834 new buses. The Moscow transport fleet is the most modern compared to other world megacity fleets, Sorokin said.

Sergei Afanasyev, the KamAZ Deputy General Director, said that the city has been testing KamAZ electric buses for two months, and that they showed good results.

“We collected all the data necessary for further development of the prototype, during the tests. We believe that our buses will be able to meet the city’s requirements soon,” Afanasyev said.

For 2018-2020, the city plans to purchase 300 electric buses each year including service life maintenance contracts. The service life maintenance contract requires the manufacturer to be responsible for maintenance and repair services for 15 years. A tender to supply the first 300 electric buses will be put out before the end of the year.

The main requirements for new electric buses:

— capacity: 85 passengers

— minimum distance without recharging: 40 kilometres (100 percent workload with HVAC system on)

— specific energy consumption: no more than 1.3 kilowatt-hour per kilometre

— minimum operating time: up to 20 hours a day

— two traction motors with a total capacity of 180 kilowatts

— battery pack service life: min. 15 years

— charging time: to 100 percent: 18 minutes during service hours; 90 minutes overnight

— rapid charging stations included in the bid

Many other world megacities are also switching from diesel transport. By 2025 the bus fleet in Paris will consist of 80 percent electric buses and 20 percent biogas buses. Madrid, Mexico City and other cities plan to give up the use of diesel buses completely by 2025.