Urban Transport

Electric bus covers 600 miles on single charge

Electric bus covers 600 miles ...
The Proterra Catalyst E2 bus managed 600 miles under testing conditions
The Proterra Catalyst E2 bus managed 600 miles under testing conditions
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The Proterra Catalyst E2 can cover up to 350 mi on a single charge
The Proterra Catalyst E2 can cover up to 350 mi on a single charge
Just in case you weren't sure, this bus is battery powered
Just in case you weren't sure, this bus is battery powered
The Proterra Catalyst E2 bus managed 600 miles under testing conditions
The Proterra Catalyst E2 bus managed 600 miles under testing conditions
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Cars aren't the only form of transport moving towards the zero-local emissions benefits of electric power. Proterra has been working on its pure electric buses for some time and the latest addition to its stable, the Catalyst E2, has logged more the 600 miles (966 km) on a single charge under test conditions at the Michelin proving grounds in South Carolina.

Although that kind of range is not necessarily possible in regular day-to-day driving conditions, the Catalyst E2 with its storage capacity of 440 – 660 kWh is still capable of posting some pretty impressive figures. According to Proterra, its claimed nominal range of 194 to 350 miles (312 to 563 km) makes it capable of covering most daily American mass transit routes on a single charge, meaning it could directly replace the current fossil fuel buses in service across the country (and the world).

Just in case you weren't sure, this bus is battery powered
Just in case you weren't sure, this bus is battery powered

"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," says Proterra CEO, Ryan Popple. "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."

Source: Proterra

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Derek Howe
Seems great, but the downside is I'm betting their 350 mile bus, costs several times as much as a comparable diesel one.
On a recent visit to Italy I noticed a few small Italian towns used small 12 pax electric buses to maneuver their narrow streets. What a great idea ! I wish they would make pedestrian streets out of many of our city centers and just use these small electric buses. Cars in the city center do nothing for our quality of life.
Derek, you are right - they cost a lot more (for now!) but nobody who operates transit lines looks only at the price tag - Proterra and BYD sell because of great fleet TCO numbers. Then you have meaningful city air & noise pollution reduction and increased attractiveness in general which also help them sell and stand out.
This is hard to believe with a vechicle that large and heavy. It will be refreshing to not see the diesel exhaust spuing from the exhaust pipes. Hopefully this will lead to a reduction in diesel powered transport trucks by converting to electric
Jeff Michelson
Wow! Nearly half a megawatt of stored power? Amazing. It'd be interesting to know how long it takes to charge up and at what amperage they use. In comparison, my Nissan Leaf 24kWh, the Tesla is 90kWh.
Initial cost of a high mileage fleet vehicle is only a small part of the overall consideration. Ease and cost of maintenance is a much larger factor. With nearly no fluids to change and a less mechanically complicated, more modular power train, overall cost could conceivably be much lower.
We went from the 1950's with electric powered light rail in every American city to having to use diesel powered buses thanks to the collusion of General Motors, Standard Oil, and Firestone Tire, who created a company to buy up and then shut down all the trolley companies and burn the street cars and give up the rights of way for the lines. Now we have people thinking that the answer is to have battery powered buses. What remarkable ignorance to think of this as a solution to current transport problems.
The most energy efficient way to move people from one place to another is with steel wheels on steel rails. No need to build massive batteries or try to recycle them. No need to charge the batteries so that there need to be more buses so some can be charging while others are in use.
At least the overall cost even with the inefficiencies of battery powered buses is a big improvement over the costs of diesel powered vehicles. Diesel soot contributes greatly to air pollution which in turn results in asthma which costs more than $12 billion a year in hospital visits alone and total cost in terms of lost time from work and cost for medical treatment and special medicines is over $100 billion a year. The problem with all polluters is that the external costs are borne by the public and yet cost the polluting companies nothing and increase their profits.
@ Calson.....with the inefficiencies of battery powered buses.... What? Electric motors are up to 3 times MORE EFFICIENT than gasoline/diesel engines. The point here IS EFFICIENCY. Clean local air (for now, eventually it will be clean air everywhere since electricity generation will go fully renewable in the next decade or two - at least NEW developments all will be renewable) is a side-benefit. The economy is all about cost and efficiency.
People can blabber on about climate change, but as soon as it affects their pockets, they don't want to pay up. The only way to solve this is for renewable energy to become affordable and competitive or cheaper than fossil fuels. Otherwise it will all just remain talk. And that is busy happening. But don't forget the real benefit here. MASSIVE efficiency gains in energy consumption.
However, the BEV will not be cheaper than ICE vehicles, even if they could be. You will pay for the greater efficiency and clean air because manufacturers will sell that as benefits and pocket the 'savings'.
Paul Gracey
Calson: I am as much of an enthusiast for light rail transport as you seem to be, but there are many places where rail is not appropriate, or cost effective. For instance some routes have changing demographics, needing altered endpoints or traverse terrain too steep for trams. Lower population areas with less street traffic come to mind as well. Costly overhead catenary is another factor. These busses fill those needs at nearly the same efficiency of streetcars which could not be done with battery powered trams in the past. Tire technology is better today too. One of the biggest advantages that modern streetcars have is based on the road use regulations they operate under that restricts busses. Gated grade crossings that take precedence over all other traffic because that steel rail/steel wheel advantage doesn't allow for stopping easily give many fewer stop situations between regular passenger stops. It wasn't just the automobile, rubber and oil companies who wanted streetcars gone from the public roads of the US, though they certainly did their share to stir emotions in their favor. No, we wore out a lot of those streetcars building aircraft for WWII at factories served by them. The same suburbs that used to be at the ends of the streetcar lines became extended far beyond with the Boomers who wanted those cars, grade separations and paved highways they had earned, they felt, from riding those streetcars for years. Half of American families had no car before the war, and almost all the burgeoning population wanted one after. We have just carried that idea past its economic usefulness today.