If someone asked you which of the world’s major cities has the most electric buses in operation outside of China, would your first guess be the capital of a country that’s one of the planet’s largest fossil fuel producers, and that seldom generates any EV-related news in the US press (except for an impractical plan to install EV chargers at all gas stations by 2016)?
Well, if so, you would be correct. Moscow recently launched its 800th electric bus, and plans to have 1,000 in service by the end of 2021.
In May, Moscow began issuing “green bonds” to raise funds to upgrade its public transport infrastructure. So far, the bonds have provided funding for 400 new e-buses. The vehicles are assembled at the new SVARZ “eco-plant,” which was opened in April by automaker KAMAZ.
Public transport operator Mosgortrans began deploying electric buses in Moscow in 2018. Since then, the agency has electrified 61 bus routes, which have carried a collective 128 million passengers over 58 million kilometers. The city is also actively developing charging infrastructure—it currently boasts more than 150 charging structures, and by the end of 2023 this number is expected to increase to 500.
“In 2021, Moscow has stopped buying diesel buses,” said Maksim Liksutov, Deputy Mayor of Moscow for Transport. “Moscow is considered to have the largest electric bus fleet in Europe. All the city routes will be operated by eco-friendly buses by 2030. To achieve this goal, the government of Moscow will buy more than 500 electric buses per year, and also develop an innovative hydrogen bus model together with KAMAZ and RUSNANO.”