Proterra has made some big strides with its long-range electric bus in the past year or so, and has claimed that the zero-emissions vehicle could cover most North American transit routes on a single charge. We will soon see how it fares in the real world, with the LA Department of Transportation (LADOT) buying 25 of the buses as part of a shift toward greener public transit.
Proterra lists the nominal range of its electric bus as 426 mi (660 km), but it has managed a whole lot more than that in private testing. It traveled more than 600 mi (966 km) at the Michelin proving grounds in South Carolina back in September 2016, and then covered more than 1,100 mi (1,770) on a single charge a year later.
Its impressive progress drew the attention of the Nevada transport authorities back in May, who have now signed on to carry out trials using an autonomous version of the Proterra bus. And now LADOT is climbing aboard as well as part of a commitment to electrify its entire bus fleet by the year 2030.
That amounts to 359 vehicles in all, but it will start by replacing CNG buses responsible for millions of pounds of greenhouse gases each year with 25 of Proterra's zero-emission buses. On top of the environmental advantages, the buses are expected to save LADOT US$11.2 million over their 12-year lifetimes, thanks to lower maintenance and operational costs.
"Los Angeles County is home to our manufacturing facility in the City of Industry, where we manufacture the Catalyst electric buses, so it is fitting that our buses will be deployed in nearby regions," said Ryan Popple, CEO of Proterra. "We're proud to support transit agencies in meeting their climate action goals through the procurement of battery-electric buses. We applaud these agencies for their efforts to create an experience that supports healthy communities."
The 25 35-ft (10.6-m) buses will be handed over to LADOT in 2019.
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