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EghtesadOnline: Belarusian bus builder Belkommunmash plans to sell all-electric buses to Tehran, according to a report from that country on December 26.

The development comes as that country’s deputy prime minister, Vladimir Semashko, said the vehicles were being tested in Minsk before any deal between the two states, Belta News Agency reported.

Semashko said, “Minsk has orders for 20 electric buses. Two electric bus lines will work initially. Later the number will be increased. Orders will be made for electric buses for oblast capitals. There are [also] orders for electric buses for Moscow, Saint Petersburg, and Tehran.”

Up till now urban transport has been limited to trams, trolleybuses, and buses. However, these days all the countries are fighting to reduce the cost and environmental impact of urban transportation. “This is why the first few samples of a new kind of urban transportation — electric buses and hybrid buses — have emerged.”

He also mentioned several advantages of electric buses, Financial Tribune reported.

“Electric buses do not need overhead lines. In other words, electric buses do not require additional capital outlets. An electric bus uses a capacitor. After charging it at a terminal stop the electric bus will be able to travel for 15-16km without recharging.”

The deputy premier also mentioned environmental advantages of electric buses. “Apart from that, the cost of electric buses is much lower. Capacitors can recuperate energy, reducing energy consumption by 30-40%. It is obvious that electric buses are the future.”

Iran’s capital aims to revamp its entire fleet of public buses in the next few years with plans to do away with older diesel gas guzzlers.

 Turkey Contracts

On December 19, Turkey’s Otokar coach building company signed a deal with Iran’s Oghab Afshan Industrial and Manufacturing Company for the sale of its Navigo buses in complete-knock-down (CKD) format.

The value of the deal is estimated at 50 million Turkish lire ($14.2 million), according to Turkish media.

It is not known whether municipalities around Iran will order these buses or they will go to the private sector.

“The contract is valid for three years, and there is a two-year extension option,” the Milliyet newspaper quoted an Otokar representative as saying on Monday.  

In previous years, city officials looked at reentering electric trolleybuses in the capital to reduce pollution levels.

In 2015, the head of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company announced that electric buses would reenter the capital after being pulled from the streets.  He did not say why the electric models were removed in the capital with a chronic deficit of public transport.

Peyman Sanandarji told ISNA that work is underway to bring back the electric buses while ensuring that old problems are resolved.

He said the old trolleybus route – Shahrivar 17 Street to Rahahan (Railway Square in south Tehran) would be the first junction to use the electric buses. The refurbishing of old trolleybuses has begun, but ‘’purchasing new electric buses is a priority,’’ he said.

The overcrowded city intends to bring back 450 new trolleybuses.

Iran-Belarus trade Iran buses Electric Bus Belkommunmash