Proterra’s Catalyst E2 bus debuted at the American Public Transit Association (APTA) Annual Meeting in Los Angeles, California. Proterra, Inc., which was launched in 2004 thanks to grants and private funding, has always focused on designing all-electric zero-emissions vehicles, and on-route, fast-charge and in-depot systems.
The company, which launched the world’s first fleet of alternative fuel buses, has been leading the way in this sector and has collected more than $130 million in private equity funding to continue to innovate. This year it did not fail, at the 2016 APTA, Proterra unveiled the Catalyst E2 series.
The E2 series vehicle was given that name for its Efficient Energy (E2) storage capacity of 440 – 660 kWh. Proterra explained that the 40-foot bus hit a new milestone at Michelin’s Laurens Proving Grounds by logging in more than 350 miles on a single charge under test conditions. According to the manufacturing company:
“Its nominal range of 194 – 350 miles means the Catalyst E2 series is capable of serving the full daily mileage needs of nearly every US. mass transit route on a single charge and offers the transit industry the first direct replacement for fossil-fueled transit vehicles. The high-mileage Catalyst E2 series joins the existing Catalyst FC and XR series vehicles, designed for circulator and intermediate-mileage routes, respectively.”
The statement went on to say that the E2 battery configurations are fully chargeable at the depot with standard J1772 CCS plug-in chargers. Ryan Popple, CEO of Proterra, who was very pleased with tests conducted during the summer, said at the annual event:
“To make a 40-foot bus capable of driving 350 miles with 77 passengers on a single charge, Proterra worked on improving the battery which they build at their offices. The bus, which can cost in excess of $800,000, stores up to 660 KWh of energy – that’s 10 times the energy of the standard Tesla Model S. “Today, with the unveiling of the Catalyst E2 Series, that goal has been achieved.”
Proterra’s primary goal has always been to create a purpose-built, high-performance electric vehicle that can serve every single transit route in the United States. Today, with the unveiling of the Catalyst E2 Series, that goal has been achieved. 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. 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.
Popple explained that the first 34 Catalyst E2 would go to the Foothill Transit Authority in Los Angeles County, with Reno, Nevada and 11 other cities following suit.
Proterra said since its launch their buses have completed over 2.5 million miles of revenue service across America, displacing 540,000 gallons of diesel, and eliminating nearly 10 million pounds of carbon emissions.