6 September 2021

Today a breakthrough passenger vehicle – the KAMAZ-6290 hydrogen electric bus – is to be presented at the COMTRANS 2021 exhibition, Moscow.

KAMAZ is still expanding its line of innovative passenger eco-friendly transport means becoming more and more popular in megacities. Hydrogen public vehicles will soon be able to become a worthy alternative to diesel buses; therefore, meeting today’s requirements, the company's engineers have developed the first low-floor hydrogen electric bus KAMAZ-6290.

“We drew up design documents for the testbed hydrogen electric bus meeting requirements for electric buses, that is we used the KAMAZ-6282 electric bus supplied to Moscow as a guide,” explained Andrey Savinkov, Deputy Chief Designer of KAMAZ PTC – Chief Vehicle Designer. “The hydrogen electric bus boasts apparent advantages: it’s green, and there’s no diesel heater for a passenger compartment. What is more, compared with an electric bus running 70 km at a full charge, a hydrogen electric bus can travel 250 km, which makes it fit even for interurban transportation."

KAMAZ’s subsidiary based in Bashkortostan – NEFAZ – assembled the chassis and body of the hydrogen electric bus, and the KAMAZ R&D Center mounted its roof equipment. The body is made of high-strength steel and safe plastic, which makes the vehicle sturdy and wreck-resistant in road accidents. The GVW of the KAMAZ-6282 hydrogen electric bus is 19 tonnes, its overall dimensions are 12.4x2.55x3.4 m. The novelty product operates on hydrogen fuel cells and features six cylinders for compressed hydrogen. The cylinders are installed on the roof for safety reasons. If a leak occurs, hydrogen gas rises up, not getting into the passenger compartment.    

The hydrogen power plant generates up to 45 kW, and the hydrogen electric bus is driven by a ZF electric portal axle. The hydrogen electric bus is equipped with a modern powerful pneumatic braking system with EBS, ABS, ASR, EPB, a slope hold function, a driving lock if door open and a brake pad wear sensor. The truck can also brake due to a traction electric motor with a recovery system. The maximum speed is 80 kph, the drive range is 250 km. The bus with 33 seats can carry up to 80 people. Like an electric bus, the new environmentally friendly transport means can easily operate at ambient temperatures fr om -40° to +40° С.

The engineers of the KAMAZ R&D Center tried to make the hydrogen electric bus highly comfortable for passengers. There are dual-zone climate systems in the passenger compartment and the driver's cab. The bus has an automatic ramp so that physically challenged people could freely enter the bus, passengers can open the doors themselves, and there is also an electronic system providing passengers with information and displaying it on destination indicators and an information board in the passenger compartment of the hydrogen electric bus.

“There is still work to be done. We plan to test the prototype KAMAZ hydrogen electric bus on the streets of Moscow in 2020, under actual operating conditions. There is an autonomous hydrogen filling station only in Chernogolovka near Moscow, so we can’t test the hydrogen electric bus elsewhere. Test drives are to be finished roughly in 2023,” said Andrey Savinkov. “If Moscow is ready to establish the filling infrastructure of this type and use the new type of clean buses, we plan to arrange the final assembly of hydrogen electric buses at the premises of the Sokolniki Railway Car Repair and Construction Plant in the capital where KAMAZ electric buses are being assembled already.”

It should be recalled that Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin approved the Hydrogen Energy Development Concept in August 2021. The document defines the goals, strategic initiatives and key measures to launch this branch of industry here in Russia.