Belarus-made buses gaining popularity in Russian cities
So far, the Union State has realised two sci-tech programmes in diesel automobile and engine building. Several years have passed but the results are still being seen, such as at Minsk’s Automobile Works, with bus production.
Apart from making vehicles which run on traditional diesel fuel, the plant is developing eco-friendly engines. In 2013, the first passenger bus running on gas came into production. Its environmentally-friendly characteristics have helped attract business proposals, leading to the Minsk buses launching on the streets of Moscow and St. Petersburg. Not long ago, several were supplied to Yekaterinburg. It helps that the Union State promotes equal economic conditions for Belarusian and Russian companies.
The Minsk Automobile Works’ Deputy Chief Designer, Vasily Vladytsky, comments, “Russia is allocating funds to purchase gas-fuelled vehicles, so ours are enjoying popularity there. Under this scheme, we’ve supplied a large batch to Yekaterinburg: around 60 second generation MAZ-203 buses. In addition, our plant is completing tests of the MAZ-103 (previous generation) which runs on methane. There’s a great deal of potential demand for these vehicles; in particular, Voronezh is interested in buying them.”
MAZ plans to produce even more advanced machinery and is now completing tests of a new bus meeting the newest Euro-6 standards. Simultaneously, a bus running on methane (to the same eco-standard) is being produced, with the company planning to promote it to the European market, in addition to Moscow and St. Petersburg.
The new MAZ trolley buses have even lower impact on the environment, being able to travel 20km without overhead power and without emitting harmful fumes. Already acknowledged ‘best in the CIS, they`ve been demonstrated at international forums in Moscow and St. Petersburg, arousing much interest among Belarusian and Russian transport specialists.
An electro-bus is next in line, aiming to be extremely eco-friendly, using accumulator batteries instead of combustion engines. Mr. Vladytsky explains, “Design of an electro-bus is our newest project. So far, we’ve prepared only the technical documentation but we understand that we must move quickly to find sales markets, aiming to produce a prototype by spring 2016.”
Minsk Automobile Works produces 17 models of passenger vehicle, with dozens of modifications. It will present its newest achievements at the 2nd Forum of Belarusian and Russian Regions, in Sochi, from September 17th-18th. Numerous meetings with representatives of Russian regional and city administrations have been held, with agreements signed to supply Belarusian passenger vehicles: to Moscow, Yekaterinburg and St. Petersburg.
This year, as part of its community work, MAZ presented youngsters with a new school bus, which is safe, comfortable and spacious.
By Sergey Vladimirov