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Proterra Opens Its Patent Portfolio

June 28, 2016 in Companies, EVs, EVSE, Technology by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

‘This Industry Needs Open Platforms,’ Says VP Horton
As Firm Grants Access to Overhead Charging Technology

Proterra vowed today to let any bus manufacturer or operator use its overhead electric vehicle on-route fast-charging technology on a royalty-free basis. It’s “a significant move intended to accelerate widespread EV technology adoption and infrastructure development,” the company said.

Power unit connects automatically with the single-blade receptor on a Proterra bus for safe, high-power and high-voltage on-route charging.

Power unit connects automatically with the single-blade receptor on a Proterra bus for safe, high-power and high-voltage on-route charging.



With the recent receipt of additional patents, “Proterra is now clear to offer a complete technology package to the market,” the company said this morning. Proterra said it’s working with its suppliers to open up its single-blade overhead charging design for direct sale to third parties.

“Industry-wide availability of the company’s single-blade overhead charging design will advance standardization efforts and will facilitate additional innovation,” states a release.

Multiple Vendors Needed

“This industry needs open platforms,” says Proterra sales and marketing VP Matt Horton. “We do not want to be in a position where customers are locked into one vendor,” he told F&F. By opening its patent portfolio to all, “Any bus OEM can use this technology interchangeably.”

Receipt of U.S. Patent 9,352,658 – ‘Charging of Electric Vehicles,' was key to Proterra's open platform announcement, says VP Matt Horton.

Receipt of U.S. Patent 9,352,658 – ‘Charging of Electric Vehicles,’ was key to Proterra’s open platform announcement, says VP Matt Horton.

Proterra, Horton says, has “the strongest technology portfolio in the industry, particularly for overhead, on-route charging.”

Proterra buses have logged more than 2.4 million miles of revenue service across the United States. To date, the company has more battery-electric buses on the road today than any other manufacturer, with the single-blade overhead fast-charge system “the most utilized on-route charging technology in the industry.

Proven, Upwards of 250,000 Times

“Over the past five years, public transit agencies across the country have performed more than 250,000 charging events using the Proterra single-blade overhead fast-charge system, providing these agencies with the flexibility of keeping their buses on the road all-day, and seamlessly integrating electric buses with existing route schedules,” Proterra says.

The single-blade vehicle coupling mechanism supports a charging voltage range of 250-1000 VDC, and can provide electrical current of up to 1,400 amps, “with safety taking the highest priority in these systems.”

The bus-mounted blade

The all-important charging blade, on a Proterra battery bus

Safer

Unlike catenary or third-rail solutions, the Proterra design limits exposure to high voltage components.

“We believe that everyone benefits from open platforms and greater customer choice,” Proterra CEO Ryan Popple says in this morning’s release.

“We hope that this decision will encourage even more transit agencies to bring clean, quiet, emission-free vehicles to our city streets and community roadways,” he said.


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Source: Proterra with Fleets & Fuels follow-up

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