1,100-Plus Miles on a Single Charge for 40-Foot Bus
And Ramping Up Battery Packs with New Lithium Ion Cell
As FTA Makes New Awards Under the Lo-No Program
Proterra reported this morning a run of 1,101.2 miles by a 40-foot all-electric transit bus on a single charge. The 100% battery busbuilder is also talking up development of battery packs with LG Chem a using a new lithium ion cell optimized for transit applications, and a host of new FTA-supported orders.
Proterra’s UQM-drive, Catalyst E2 Max bus logged its 1,100-plus miles at the Navistar Proving Grounds in New Carlisle, Ind. The vehicle has 660 kilowatt-hours of onboard electricity storage, using the new cell. The new lithium ion cell is also being used in Proterra buses in Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks.
Proterra is ramping up production of its E2 battery packs with the new LG cell at a facility in Burlingame, south of San Francisco, with an eye to producing more than 500 megawatt-hours worth of advanced battery packs per year there.
‘A Major Feat’
“For our heavy-duty electric bus to break the previous world record of 1,013.76 miles – which was set by a light-duty passenger EV 46 times lighter than the Catalyst E2 max – is a major feat,” Proterra chief commercial officer Matt Horton says in this morning’s release. “This record achievement is a testament to Proterra’s purpose-built electric bus design, energy-dense batteries and efficient drivetrain.”
“Beyond meeting transit agencies’ range requirements, the Catalyst E2 max is poised to make a significant impact on the transit market because of its low operational cost per mile compared to conventional fossil fuel powered buses,” Proterra says, citing data indicating that lithium ion battery prices have dropped by roughly 72% since 2010.
The Most Disruptive Mode of Transport Today
“Between li-ion battery cost savings and improving vehicle efficiency, electric vehicles represent the most disruptive mode of transport today,” the company says.
“Driven by the best cost savings-per-mile, we believe the business case for heavy-duty electric buses is superior to all other applications, and that the transit market will be the first to transition completely to battery-electric powered vehicles,” Proterra CEO Ryan Popple says in this morning’s announcement. “Early electric bus adopters like our first customer, Foothill Transit, have paved the way for future heavy-duty applications, like motor coaches and commercial trucks.
“As we see incumbents and more companies enter the heavy-duty EV market, it has become very apparent that the future is all-electric, and the sun is setting on combustion engine technology,” Popple said.
‘The First Time in the World’
“The new cell,” says Horton, “represents the first time in the world that a cell technology has been optimized for the heavy duty sector.
“The new battery packs incorporate an integrated cooling system and software management platform that allows the active management of every cell within the battery pack,” he told F&F via email. “Individual cell voltage, temperature, and humidity can all be monitored and adjusted.
“The modules are also armored to an extent you do not see in personal electric vehicles, and underwent extensive stress testing. After we locked down the cell, we spent close to a year testing the pack in a module environment.”
Clemson and Far Beyond
The new cell will be used in ten Catalyst E2 buses for Catbus in Clemson, S.C. (F&F, September 8).
Proterra’s new battery packs for the Catalyst E2 bus are available with capacities of 440 and 660 kilowatt-hours.
In other Proterra news, the Federal Transit Administration has announced fiscal year 2017 funding for Low-No/Low or No-Emission bus program projects with Proterra buses for operators including Los Angeles and Fairfield in California, Connecticut DoT, Delaware Transit Corp, the City of Tallahassee, Des Moines Area Regional Transit, Lafayette City-Parish in Louisiana, New Jersey Transit, Oregon DoT, South Carolina, DoT, Park City Transit (Utah), and Hampton Roads Transit (Virginia), and Montgomery County, Md. – a score of new customers, the company says.
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Source: Proterra with Fleets & Fuels follow-up