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600 Mile, Single Charge, Proterra EV Buses!

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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 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.

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. Proterra expects to deliver over 300 buses in 2017.

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.

Proterra's main competitor is Chinese based BYD with production facilities in California who also aims to deliver EV buses. However, BYD buses will only have a range of 160 to 200 miles compared to Proterra's. California has help fund both Proterra and BYD development, with the requirement that the engineering and production of the buses be done in California. 

The recent Volkswagen emissions scandal is cited as a reason cities are no longer wanting diesel buses. 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 lower than normal conversation at 60 dB much less a 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.”

We have previously covered early versions of Proterra EV buses. These early buses achieved 23 miles per charge and have become popular with inner city routes are being outclassed by this new generation of EV Bus. Proterra states their EV buses to date have logged over 2.5 million miles of trouble free use on city streets, reducing fuel use by 540,000 gallons of diesel and reducing emissions by 10 million pounds of carbon 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! 

Source: Proterra Press Release

Press Release on Page 2

 


 

PROTERRA CATALYST® E2 SERIES SETS NEW INDUSTRY PRECEDENT WITH A NOMINAL RANGE OF UP TO 350 MILES

September 12th, 2016

Highest-performing bus on the road can serve toughest bus routes on a single charge

Los Angeles, Calif. – APTA 2016 – September 12, 2016 – Today at the American Public Transit Association (APTA) Annual Meeting, Proterra, the leading innovator in heavy-duty electric transportation, unveiled the newest addition to its fleet of zero-emission vehicles: the Catalyst E2 series, named for its unprecedented Efficient Energy (E2) storage capacity of 440 – 660 kWh.  Last month, an E2 series vehicle achieved a new milestone at Michelin’s Laurens Proving Grounds where it logged more than 600 miles on a single charge under test conditions. Its nominal range of 194 – 350 miles means the Catalyst E2 series is capable of serving the full daily mileage needs of nearly every U.S. mass transit route on a single charge and offers the transit industry the first direct replacement for fossil-fueled transit vehicles.  The high-mileage Catalyst E2 series joins the existing Catalyst FC and XR series vehicles, designed for circulator and intermediate-mileage routes, respectively.

The Future of Transit Arrives: Proterra Customers Across the U.S. Praise Electrified Transport

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:

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.”

2.6 Million Miles and Counting

With annual sales already 220% higher than 2015, Proterra is experiencing a breakthrough year in the mass transit sector and expects the debut of the Catalyst E2 series to only further magnify this success. Doubling production in 2017 to serve unprecedented customer demand, Proterra will have both of its manufacturing lines in full operation in Greenville, S.C. and the City of Industry, Calif. To date, Proterra buses across the United States have completed over 2.5 million miles of revenue service, displacing 540,000 gallons of diesel, and eliminating over 10 million pounds of carbon emissions.

“Proterra’s primary goal has always been to create a purpose-built, high-performance electric vehicle that can serve every single transit route in the United States. Today, with the unveiling of the Catalyst E2 Series, that goal has been achieved,” said Ryan Popple, CEO of Proterra. “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. With the Catalyst E2 offering a no-compromise replacement for all fossil fuel buses, battery-electric vehicles have now broken down the final barrier to widespread market adoption.”

About Proterra:

Proterra is a leader in the design and manufacture of zero-emission vehicles that enable bus fleet operators to eliminate the dependency on fossil fuels and to significantly reduce operating costs while delivering clean, quiet transportation to the community. Proterra has sold more than 312 vehicles to 35 different municipal, university, and commercial transit agencies throughout North America. Proterra’s configurable EV platform, battery and charging options make its buses well suited for a wide range of transit and campus routes. With unmatched durability and energy efficiency based on rigorous U.S. certification testing, Proterra products are proudly designed, engineered and manufactured in America, with offices in Silicon Valley, South Carolina, and Los Angeles. For more information, visit: http://www.proterra.com and follow us on Twitter @Proterra_Inc.

Proterra Media Contact:

pr@proterra.com


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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.

https://youtu.be/toRabte8Qv4

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I do apologize guys, I had to kill your previous comments in order to fix the thread. This was my screwup, not the software. 

 

@dfelt has been trained in how to use the article system now, so future articles of his shouldn't go this bad. 

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I could also see a bus like this having about 2 more rows of seats in the back because they don't need a huge diesel engine and a cooling system back there. the entire bottom could be batteries as tall/thick as they need them and it will still likely have a lower center of gravity than what's out now.

More seats, ass ton of batteries, crazy range. This is huge and if the companies using these can get a good charging system(hopefully a majority can be subsidized by solar) I don't see why every city/county(the bus I use is county owned/run)/state/private business shouldn't use these.

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I'm curious how much a normal bus costs.  I'm sure the savings in diesel will certainly help offset that, but there is likely a huge start up cost to install enough chargers to get all of the buses charged up for the morning rush.

 

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@Drew Dowdell Thanks for all the help in the new system.

@ccap41 Agree, their fast charge system Proterra has that charges from the top of the bus should allow these buses to quickly replace old dated Diesel and then as the Hybrids wear out, be replaced by these. Hopefully in 10 years we will no longer have smelly loud public transit.

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10 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

I'm curious how much a normal bus costs.  I'm sure the savings in diesel will certainly help offset that, but there is likely a huge start up cost to install enough chargers to get all of the buses charged up for the morning rush.

 

Granted cost have gone up but this report done in 2004 based on 2000 costs for going to alternative energy had the following listed:

http://www.eesi.org/files/eesi_hybrid_bus_032007.pdf

  • Diesel - $300,000
  • CNG Bus $319,000
  • Diesel-Electric bus $385,000

I found this story on About Money that shows that in 2011 Chicago Transit Authority was paying $600,000 per Diesel bus. North Carolina in 2011 was paying $714,000 per public Diesel / Electric Hybrid.

http://publictransport.about.com/od/Transit_Vehicles/a/How-Much-Does-A-Bus-Cost-To-Purchase-And-Operate.htm

So based on this information, I would say $740,000 per EV Bus should recover costs much faster than the Diesel / CNG / Hybrid buses.

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The math should be do-able minus the start-up building a charging infrastructure that would probably be the most costly for a fleet of buses.

Well...nvm.. No clue how many miles they drive daily/yearly to calculate anything.

Edit:

I thought this was pretty cool venturing from that link you posted, dfelt.

"In general, most American transit systems expect their buses to have a useful life of twelve years and 250,000 miles." So really, they only have a useful life of 12 years or 250,000 miles. Figure the math for that shouldn't be too difficult then.

Edited by ccap41
More info.

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1 minute ago, ccap41 said:

The math should be do-able minus the start-up building a charging infrastructure that would probably be the most costly for a fleet of buses.

Well...nvm.. No clue how many miles they drive daily/yearly to calculate anything.

Just found this 2012 cost of Clean Diesel versus CNG which shows while the CNG buses cost 50-80K moreover a diesel bus, the savings in fuel cost yearly made a huge difference in the overall cost of running them and maintenance cost that went down.

http://www.catf.us/resources/publications/files/20120227-Diesel_vs_CNG_FINAL_MJBA.pdf

Based on reviewing this report, it would tend to imply with the even lower maintenance cost of electric buses, costs should continue to drop making the slightly higher cost of these EV buses still a bargain. 

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Just found that the APTA does actually keep records on costs. Most current is for 2015, in which 4,434 buses were reported purchased with an average transaction cost per Diesel bus of $504,446. Compared to these EV Buses at $740,000. But the maintenance cost is greatly reduced.

2016 APTA Fact Book

You can see all the various reports here:

APTA Reports

 

 

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Found this interesting statistic in the APTA reports:

  • 60-foot Articulated Bus: 37,500 average miles per bus
  • 45-foot “Compo” Bus: 18,750 average miles per bus
  • 40-foot Bus: 48,952 average miles per bus
  • 30-foot Bus: 13,833 average miles per bus
  • Less-than-30-foot Bus: 40,086 average miles per bus

Average Transmission lasts about 250,000 miles

Average Diesel engine lasts about 3-500,000 miles depending on environment. Less on the east coast, longer in the south.

Bus Fleet Management report

The National Transit report especially the last two pages are very eye opening when you see what the actual cost is to the taxpayers versus the fares recovered.

National Transit Report

This report shows that the national average of bus cost for Diesel is $14.43 per mile. Multiple this by the average miles driven per but type above gives you the following:

  • 60-foot - $541,125 per year which seems crazy 
  • 45-foot - $270,562.50, still crazy cost
  • 40-foot - $706,377.36
  • 30-foot - $199,610.19

So if I am reading the last couple pages of the National Transit report right, this covers the cost of fuel, maintenance to the bus, wage to the workers, bus driver, mgmt. etc.

I would be pushing to go EV as fast as possible as the reduction in maintenance cost alone would be huge I would think.

41 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

EV Bus.PNG

Very cool, that does show good reason to change out the Diesel ASAP on top of the reduction in climate change emissions.

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This sounds like a pretty awesome bus, to have no emissions and no noise and 1/4 the operating cost of a diesel that is amazing.  Seems like it could recoup the additional cost to purchase in fuel savings.

 

The Tesla is only 100 kWh battery, with 600 kWh battery they could put an insane ludicrous mode on this bus.  

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On 9/13/2016 at 3:22 PM, smk4565 said:

This sounds like a pretty awesome bus, to have no emissions and no noise and 1/4 the operating cost of a diesel that is amazing.  Seems like it could recoup the additional cost to purchase in fuel savings.

 

The Tesla is only 100 kWh battery, with 600 kWh battery they could put an insane ludicrous mode on this bus.  

Agree, this bus is gonna be awesome for transit and how nice and quiet it will be. Looking forward to riding one when Seattle gets them in spring of 2017. 

I wonder how long it will take before transit groups flip their whole fleet to EV buses like this?

The savings in fuel, maintenance, etc. is just gonna be awesome.

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1 hour ago, dfelt said:

Agree, this bus is gonna be awesome for transit and how nice and quiet it will be. Looking forward to riding one when Seattle gets them in spring of 2017. 

I wonder how long it will take before transit groups flip their whole fleet to EV buses like this?

The savings in fuel, maintenance, etc. is just gonna be awesome.

I wish I had hopes for getting them In 2017 here.

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2 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

I wish I had hopes for getting them In 2017 here.

If you can, I would like to invite you to email, call, reach out to your local tansit and find out if they are considering these Proterra EV buses. If they are, when do they think they will have them added to the fleet? If not, then why not. 

Post their response here, it would be awesome to see how others are thinking.

I agree that all transit should get these buses into their fleets.

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37 minutes ago, dfelt said:

If you can, I would like to invite you to email, call, reach out to your local tansit and find out if they are considering these Proterra EV buses. If they are, when do they think they will have them added to the fleet? If not, then why not. 

Post their response here, it would be awesome to see how others are thinking.

I agree that all transit should get these buses into their fleets.

To be honest, I'm not even sure how to approach them. I found their email address. Now I'm not exactly sure what to say. lol

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3 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

To be honest, I'm not even sure how to approach them. I found their email address. Now I'm not exactly sure what to say. lol

I would point to this story and ask them if they are going to be adding EV buses to the transit pool.

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On 9/20/2016 at 1:14 PM, ccap41 said:

To be honest, I'm not even sure how to approach them. I found their email address. Now I'm not exactly sure what to say. lol

Hey CCAP, did you ever email them and get a response?

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23 minutes ago, dfelt said:

Hey CCAP, did you ever email them and get a response?

I did not.. I think I started typing and got busy at work and ended up just not finishing the email.. What was the link that you mentioned, again? I would still like to ask about it. Even if it only shows that there is indeed some public interest in EV buses.

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