Wednesday, September 20, 2017

This Electric Bus Drives 1,100 Miles on a Single Charge

It's been a long time since we've written about electric bus manufacturer Proterra. Back in 2011, General Motors invested $30 million in the startup from South Carolina. At the time, Proterra's EcoRide BE-35 modelcould hit an 80-percent charge in only 10 minutes, giving it a 40-mile range. But the latest bus from Proterra has a drastically longer range—to the tune of 1,100 miles.

This week, Proterra announced that the Catalyst E2 Max electric bus traveled 1,101.2 miles on a single chargeat theNavistar Proving Grounds in New Carlisle, Indiana. That's reportedly long enough to set a world record for the longest distance traveled by an electric vehicle on a single charge.

"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," said Matt Horton, Proterra's chief commercial officer. "This record achievement is a testament to Proterra's purpose-built electric bus design, energy-dense batteries, and efficient drivetrain."

Compared to the Chevrolet Bolt's 238-mile EPA range and the Tesla Model S 100D's EPA range of 335 miles, the Proterra Catalyst E2 Max's range looks absolutely bonkers. Then again, ithas a massive 660-kWh battery, so you'd expect it to go pretty dang far on a charge.

Proterra says the Catalyst E2 Max seats 40, has a top speed of 65 mph, and can recharge in less than five hours. If it were a regular passenger vehicle like the Bolt or the Model S, that recharge time would probably be way too much, but considering that buses are parked overnight, that shouldn't be a problem. Plus, even when loaded down with people and their belongings, a 1,100-mile range should be enough to avoid running out of electricity during the day. Even better, the running costs are said to be far lower than a fossil fuel-powered bus.

So will your city's new buses all be battery electric? It's possible. But even if the concept of an all-electric bus takes a little while to catch on, it's still impressive that Proterra was able to build any type of vehicle that can travel so far on a single charge.

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