By Mark Buehler, USA TODAY USA TODAY The US military is set to send 4,500 electric buses that can travel for 30 minutes or more across Russia, the Pentagon announced Thursday.
The vehicles, which could be used in rural areas and cities as well as in war zones, are the latest in a series of moves to encourage the country to embrace the use of electric propulsion.
The move is part of the Pentagon’s efforts to help the world’s third-largest economy transition to cleaner vehicles.
In addition to the new electric buses, the US military has been testing electric vehicles in the United States, including an electric-powered trainer and a self-driving vehicle.
A Pentagon spokesman said the buses were designed to operate in the “unlimited” range of 20-to-30 miles per hour, and would be equipped with a battery pack for a range of up to 300 miles.
The buses will be fitted with advanced safety systems, including electronic stability control.
The new electric vehicles will be sent to Russia in late 2019, with the vehicles being built by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Center, according to the Pentagon.
The US military expects to send 1,000 of the vehicles by 2025.
In Russia, electric vehicles have been embraced by some residents.
The country has had a fleet for over a decade and has been moving toward electric vehicles, said Mikhail Gorbachev, president of the Federation of Automobile Manufacturers.