dfelt

600 Mile, Single Charge, Proterra EV Buses!

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G. David Felt
Staff Writer Alternative Energy - www.CheersandGears.com

 

600 Mile, Single Charge, Proterra EV Buses!

Proterra-e2-bus-600-miles-0.jpg

PROTERRA

All-electric zero-emission that can finally replace all petro powered buses in North America was unveiled at the Annual APTA (American Public Transit Association) meeting in Los Angeles. Proterra which is known to have launched the first fleet of alternative fuel buses has pushed American engineering with over $130 million in private equity funding to produce a true replacement for all diesel / alternative fuel buses. The Catalyst E2 bus series hit the new milestone at the Michelin's Laurens proving grounds. A 600+ mile passenger free track run translates into 350 miles of continuous real world driving according to Proterra's CEO Ryan Popple. 

Proterra-e2-bus-600-miles-2.jpg

Proterra states that bus fleets said they could fully replace fossil fuel buses if they had buses that could cover routes for a single day up to 350 miles fully loaded with people. Proterra achieved this challenge by using carbon fiber and increasing energy density in the buses battery pack. Proterra battery packs come in choices of 440 KWh to 660 KWh size. The base model bus with a 440 KWh battery pack is what was used to set their new world record for electric distance in a bus. These battery packs are 6x more than the recently announced Tesla S/X P100D. These batteries can handle sustained quick charging plus they can also use the industry standard J1772 CCS plug-in chargers. Check out the video to see Proterra's Quick Charger system. Very cool in terms of being able to quickly charge and be on your way for a bus.

Catalyst Range.jpg

The first 34 buses are scheduled to be delivered to Foothill Transit Authority in Los Angeles County this fall. Reno, Nevada and 11 other cities including Seattle, Washington will follow in 2017 with taking delivery of these pure long distance electric buses. In All the west coast is expected to take delivery in 2017 of 300+ of these buses and even more as Proterra ramps up manufacturing of the buses. 

Safety first was more than just a slogan at Proterra, with this guiding principle, the Catalyst bus was engineered from the beginning as the battery packs are located outside the passenger compartment. The are liquid temperature controlled and incorporated with both active and passive safety features. They are also ruggedized with reinforced enclosures and a safety barrier between the batteries and the passenger compartment. The buses are also build with Mobileye crash avoidance technology and using plenty of impact absorbing carbon fiber materials.

Safety First.jpg

Proterra's main competitor is a Chinese company with production facilities in California like Proterra who has stated they also will deliver 300+ buses by the end of 2017 to various cities in California. BYD buses will only have a range of 160 to 200 miles compared to Proterra's buses with a 350+ real world mile range. California has help fund both Proterra and BYD development, with the requirement that the engineering and production of the buses be done in California. Both companies have complied to make this happen.

Having pointed to the Volkswagen emissions scandal as a reason that cities are no longer wanting diesel buses and are ready to dump their diesel addiction now that VW engineers are being indicted for the software cheating scandal. They also point out that the public is asking for much cleaner transit solutions.

Proterra states that customers want a environmentally friendly bus, that does not smell, has much reduced noise pollution and makes for a more comfortable trip. Their $740,000 buses depending on configuration was a hit at APTA with many transit authorities asking for more information especially on the east coast which has lagged behind moving to cleaner alternative energy buses and runs some of the oldest bus fleets in the country. An example of how quiet these buses are, the Proterra Catalyst is only 57 dB in comparison to normal conversation at 60 dB, Diesel Bus 72 dB, Formula 1 Racecar 115 dB, and a Jet plane taking off at 140 dB.

Per Proterra own web site, efficiency is the goal and with that you have proof in the cost to run an EV bus as follows:

  • Proterra Catalyst - 21.4 MPGe @ average of 19 cents per mile
  • CNG - 3.27 MPG at 74 cents per mile
  • Diesel - 3.86 MPG at 84 cents per mile
  • Hybrid - 4.58 MPG at 63 cents per mile.

Quoting Mass Transit Mag who was at the APTA meeting:

Compelled by a total cost of ownership significantly lower than fossil fuel-based alternatives, transit agencies across the U.S. agree that diesel’s dominance is waning, giving way to the economic and environmental benefits of battery-electric mass transportation:

  • J. Barry Barker, executive director, Transit Authority of River City: “TARC now has largest deployment of Proterra battery-electric buses east of the Mississippi. Providing both environmental benefits and cost savings, these buses are a symbol of Louisville’s sustainability efforts. We are proud of these positive impacts and to call Proterra a partner, as they pass this key milestone in their journey as the foremost transport innovator in the world.”
  • Doran Barnes, executive director at Foothill Transit: “We just surpassed one million miles of revenue service with our battery-electric Proterra fleet, and we’re looking forward to many more miles to come. Since our first EV bus procurement with Proterra in 2010, we knew that zero-emission buses were the future of mass transit. Now, with the new Catalyst E2, this vision is a reality.  We’re excited by the possibilities of an all-electric future.”
  • Jonathan Church, administrator at Worcester Regional Transit Authority (WRTA): “More and more, we’re witnessing our neighbor agencies consider all-electric buses, as they see how well our Proterra buses have weathered some of the ugliest Northeast snow storms. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Proterra as their technology continues to expand within North America.”

To date, Proterra early EV buses which I had written about here at Cheers and Gears:

These early buses that only got 23 miles per charge and have become popular with inner city routes are now clearly being outclassed by the generation two of the EV Bus. Proterra states their EV buses to date have logged over 2.5 million miles of trouble free use on city streets displacing 540,000 gallons of diesel and 10 million pounds of carbon emissions not released into the planet atmosphere. 

Emissions.jpg

Ryan Popple, CEO of Proterra says, "The question is no longer who will be an early adopter of this technology, but rather who will be the last to commit to a future of clean efficient and sustainable mobility." Proterra believes they have broken down the final barrier to widespread market adoption of EV buses. Proterra, leaving Diesel in the past! 

Are you ready to get your Electric on?

Proterra-e2-bus-600-miles-1.jpg

Proterra Press Releases

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