Russia's RariTEK - which maintains it is the first manufacturer to produce a bus fuelled by liquefied natural gas (LNG) - has specified an Allison fully automatic transmission.

The Lotos 105 10.5-metre low-floor bus is manufactured by RariTEK, a Russian manufacturer of natural gas commercial vehicles and buses.

The bus features an Allison T 280 transmission and has a 260-hp Yuchai engine compliant with Euro 5.

RariTEK already sells a compressed natural gas (CNG) version of the Lotos 105 bus and the Lotos 206 (226) model, which also runs on compressed gas.

The company says major Russian cities such as Novosibirsk, Chelyabinsk and Rostov have expressed interest in the bus so far. RariTEK plans to further develop its natural-gas vehicle portfolio with a priority to specify Allison fully automatic transmissions.

"We collected a lot of data on how Allison-equipped buses behave," said Lotos project manager, Denis Denisov. "We would meet and talk to fleet owners who operate such vehicles and we ultimately chose Allison.

"The driver's shift is 12 hours. Just imagine how many times one has to shift the gear lever and push the clutch pedal with manual transmission.

"We came to a very simple conclusion an automatic transmission is safer and more convenient because city traffic is very intense these days, and with an automatic transmission the driver has less fatigue and can better concentrate on driving."

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