RUSSIA: Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin inaugurated the city’s first battery electric bus route on September 1.

Battery buses using overnight and opportunity charging have replaced trolleybuses on Route 73 between VDNKh Exhibition Centre and Bibirevo, enabling the overhead wires to be dismantled.

KAMAZ and GAZ are supplying 100 low-floor battery buses each, with 30 delivered so far. However, problems with the energy supply in the first few days meant that only some of these were able to carry passengers. Travel on the battery buses is free until the end of September.

The two suppliers are to supply the remaining buses by the end of the year. Each of the 6·35bn rouble orders include 15 years of maintenance, as well as the installation and maintenance of 62 fast charging stations.

The city authorities plan to purchase a further 300 battery buses annually to 2021. Some of these will replace trolleybuses on routes 36, 42, 73, 76 and 83. Battery buses are also due to enter service on Route T25, a former trolleybus route currently operated by diesel vehicles.