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8 Sep 2017

UK delegation shows interest in Belarusian electric buses

MINSK, 8 September (BelTA) – A delegation from the UK led by Lord Mayor of Nottingham Michael Edwards visited the mechanical engineering company Belkommunmash, BelTA learned from the company’s press service.

The delegation comprises representatives of transport authorities of Nottingham and Manchester. “This was a fact-finding visit. The guests became interested in electric buses. They intend to study the advantages of our vehicles over Chinese and Indian electric buses operating in England, and also work out a financial plan. Michael Edwards expressed hope that Belkommunmash will develop buses tailored for English needs,” the press service clarified.

England operates buses with high-capacity batteries that charge overnight and last the whole day. This energy source has some disadvantages: high cost, heavy weight (which affects the passenger capacity), and short lifecycle. Batteries in Belarusian electric buses are smaller. It take five minutes to charge a battery at a bus terminal. The lifecycle of such batteries is as long as the useful life of the electric bus itself. “In England, they must operate a passenger vehicle for no more than eight years. They have to replace batteries at least three times during this period of time. Our electric bus has a ten-year useful life, the same goes for the battery,” the company noted.

Belkommunmash produces the E433 articulated electric bus for 153 passengers. Streets of Nottingham and Manchester are not wide enough for such long buses there. The Belarusian manufacturer can offer a convenient model E420 and is ready to adjust it to left-hand traffic.

This innovative vehicle boasts some advantages over regular buses, trolleybuses, and trams: it is environmentally friendly, highly maneuverable, and more comfortable. The electric bus is powered by electricity just like the trolleybus, although the former uses on-board supercapacitors rather than overhead wires. The vehicle consumes 14% less electricity than a trolleybus. It has a wheelchair space with a fixation system and a warning system to alert the driver. The driver lowers the floor at the bus stop to make boarding and disembarking easier. There also are outlets and USB ports to charge gadgets on board the bus.

E433 has already entered passenger service in Minsk. These buses are used on route 59 and on route 43. As many as 20 innovative vehicles are now serving the bus routes of the Belarusian capital. They charge the same fare as the regular transport.


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