Kogogin: “The electric transport market will grow. This will also happen in our country”
About electric buses and their supply to Europe
KAMAZ wants to supply its electric buses, of which there are already half a thousand in Moscow on the move, to Europe. As the company's CEO Sergey Kogogin told reporters on 21 December, the automaker will be ready to pass certification in 2021.
“Now we are working with the St. Petersburg Polytechnic University to develop a programme for a universal modular platform, where we want to develop the entire range, from 9 to 18 metres, both buses and electric buses with new approaches, in a new body, with better characteristics. In the field of electric propulsion now, whether we want it or not, but this is the only thing that can be counted on when exporting to Europe. We are not yet ready for certification according to European requirements, but next year we will bring the design to all requirements and rules and will be able to supply," he said.
In total, KAMAZ has produced 202 electric buses this year and wants to double this number in 2021. In particular, the company plans to start a trial assembly of electric buses at the facilities of the Moscow plant SVARZ in March.
The production of buses at the Neftekamsk automobile plant (NEFAZ, part of KAMAZ) has reached 1,560 units. From 2024, the company plans to completely update the model range — now a new 18-metre bus is being tested, a 9-mere bus is being designed, and an 18-metre electric bus will be developed.
About commercial electric car
KAMAZ also intends to create a light commercial electric vehicle based on the Kama-1, which was presented on December 10.
“In electric transport, we have made a platform — further increase the engine power, expand the base in order to pass through this platform to commercial transport. You will need to make changes to the design of the chassis, but not so serious, which relate to the transmission for the classic scheme. All architecture of electronics will remain the same, power electrics — only blocks will be added on power," Kogogin reported.
It is expected that commercial production of the Kama-1 electric car will begin no earlier than 2023-2024, and the car will be certified and refined next year.
“The project is absolutely alive. The electric transport market will grow. This will also happen in our country. I believe that car sharing — electric cars inside cities — will develop. This is the most optimal thing. And the car was conceived as a small car for car-sharing," said the head of KAMAZ.
According to him, the problem is that electric transport will still come:
“Even by the results of this year, we see that the number of electric vehicles in our country has increased in sales, and there is an immediate increase of 100%. While mostly imported used cars, new — not so much. But you can't get away from the trend because the cost of ownership remains such that it is cheaper.
Interestingly, the top managers of KAMAZ themselves are now using another car — Tesla Model S. According to Kogogin, KAMAZ purchased one such car as a service car, and Irek Gumerov, the company's development director, drives it. As the director general of KAMAZ noted, with all the advantages of electric vehicles, their operation in Russia is impossible without proper infrastructure.
“I can directly say that without the participation of Rosseti, power engineers, the creation of infrastructure for electric transport in our country is hardly possible. I hope that they will actively join in this process. But this is not an easy task, both technically and financially. This will take a lot of time in our country," said Kogogin.
About the creation of hydrogen cars and buses
In 2021, KAMAZ has planned research and development work (R&D) to create an 18-tonne hydrogen car and a hydrogen bus.
“I don't know whether we will have time to do it. But there is such plan. I think we should all try. When we started developing the electric bus, there was no economic sense in it at all. We just thought — the stage is coming in the world, let's try. We will spend a certain amount of money to understand what should happen," the head of KAMAZ said.
On termination of K4 generation truck production
KAMAZ plans to stop the production of K4 generation trucks from 2024 and focus on the production of K5 tractors, Kogogin stated.
“Unfortunately, we cannot abandon the K3. First, the power structures, they are still on the old model range, and second, of course, the price positioning of these machines, especially in the communal sector, in agriculture, it still remains key, and we are forced to support this direction.
By the end of 2020, the company expects to sell 36,700 trucks — 32,000 cars on the Russian market, 4,700 — on the export market.
About revenue and reduction of investment programme
As for financial indicators, KAMAZ expects revenue under IFRS in the amount of 208 billion rubles by the end of 2020. Kogogin did not give specific forecasts for profit but assured that there would be a profit.
Kogogin also confirmed that the company's investment programme in 2020 will decrease by a third from the planned 14,1 billion rubles.
“Due to that we had to seriously improve our financial performance, this year we 'shrunk'. Sergey Viktorovich (Chemezov, the head of Rostec and chairman of the board of directors of KAMAZ — editor's note) spoke about this. As of today, we have made 9,3 billion investments. In December, we will spend a little more there, of course," Kogogin said.
Sergey Chemezov has recently said that KAMAZ could end the year 2020 with financial results lower than planned due to a large investment programme. If it becomes “very difficult”, the investment programme can be reduced, Chemezov added.
About decline in truck market
KAMAZ also expects a decrease in sales of trucks with a gross weight of 14-40 tonnes by the end of 2020 — up to 60,000 units.
“For ourselves, we see that we are guaranteed to sell 32,000 in the Russian market, well, 4,600-4,700 is export. The Russian domestic market has closed the export gap. That is, we are exceeding the plan for the domestic market... KAMAZ assumes that the market of trucks with a gross weight of 14-40 tonnes in 2021 'will not be worse than today'," said Sergey Kogogin.
The business plan of KAMAZ for 2020 assumed the sale of 35,700 trucks: 29,000 — in the Russian market, 6,700 — in foreign markets. In 2021, it is planned to sell 37,000 trucks, including 32,000 — on the Russian market. The reason for the restrained plans for exports in 2021, the automaker calls the continuing restrictions due to the coronavirus in the countries.
“When countries began to close, we began to have problems with the implementation of contracts, because it often requires the presence of our specialists on the ground, somewhere — my visits. There are countries that we consider to be key for us. This is, first, Kazakhstan, second, of course, Turkmenistan, then Uzbekistan. Vietnam remains the key country in the far abroad. There, due to the closure of the country, we were forced to keep the manufactured cars in parking lots for almost six months. Now from Novorossiysk, there a continuous stream of ships leave. We are trying to give all the equipment to come this year. In December, of course, we will not have time — in fact, the delivery takes 45 days by sea. But we have already shipped for November," Kogogin told reporters.