Galvanizing public transport in Moscow

Moscow could soon see a new generation of buses, running on state-of-the-art rechargeable batteries.

These will be produced at Siberian Liotech, a joint venture between Rusnano and international holding Thunder Sky Group. The new buses will be able to run 250 kilometers without recharging, and could appear next year.

The project worth around $400 million is one of the biggest investment initiatives in Russia’s Novosibirsk region. At the international forum of nanotechnologies in Moscow, Rusnano head Anatoly Chubais called it one of the breakthrough projects which the corporation supervises in the ‘new power industry’.

Rusnano expects to get the first order for the supply of around 100 electric buses for Moscow as soon as 2012, Chubais said. Michael Bush, managing director at Liotech, was even more ambitious, claiming that ‘according to our plan, in one or two years 70 – 80% of all buses in Moscow could be electric.’

The production of the new generation batteries is really a unique project, as Bush stresses: ‘nobody in Europe produces this, and this will definitely be number one in Europe, and one of the biggest plants around the world.’ Import potential is also great, with Poland and some Arab countries already showing interest, Bush added.