Russian bus manufacturer Volgabus, based in Volzhsky, an industrial city in Volgograd Oblast, has set about in-field trials of a new compressed natural gas (CNG) -powered low-floor bus in Chelyabinsk in West-central Russia. Earlier trials were also conducted 210 kms to the north in the city of Yekaterinburg.
This tests are designed to determine operational costs compared to traditional diesel buses and to assess performance for passenger comfort and convenience with an emphasis on low-floor transportation. Thus far, drivers have been impressed by engine dynamics and ease of handling.
The buses are designed to carry 111 passengers, of which 28 will be seated. There is also provision for passengers with limited mobility, including a ramp for easy access.
Early last month, Volgagas sold an unspecified number of 10-meter CityRitm-10 CNG buses to a public transport operator in the Kuznetsk Basin (Kuzbass) in southwestern Siberia, one of the largest coal mining areas in the country. This model is now operational in 15 regions of Russia, offering a combination of high passenger capacity, low fuel consumption and optimal service costs.
In March this year, the first CNG-powered buses began operations in Perm, a Russian city close to the Ural Mountains. The Perm administration acquired 20 new Volgabus buses, replacing aged diesel buses.