The new electrically driven passenger bus Catalyst E2 covers a nominal range of 194–350 miles. The manufacturer Proterra is a Silicon Valley startup which is developing and producing primarily in the US. Catalyst E2, with a storage capacity of 440 – 660 kWh, offers 40 seats and weighs a mere 18 tonnes thanks to the carbon fibre reinforced composite body.
Catalyst E2 achieved 600 miles with one battery charge
The new product line was unveiled on Monday during the American Public Transit Association (APTA) Annual Meeting. One month ago, at Michelin’s Laurens Proving Grounds – an on-vehicle testing facility for North America, the bus was able to cover a distance of 600 miles on a single full charge. This is well above the stated nominal range. However, Catalyst E2’s record has been achieved under test conditions.
“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, this goal has been achieved,” said Ryan Popple, CEO of Proterra. “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.”
Up to now, Proterra delivered more than 312 buses to 35 different municipal, university, and commercial transit agencies in North America alone. According to a press release, the annual sales of 2016 are already 220% higher than 2015. Furthermore, the Burlingame-based startup seeks to double its production in 2017 for an expected rising demand.
First public service expected in 2017 in Los Angeles
“We just surpassed one million miles of revenue service with our battery-electric Proterra fleet, and we’re looking forward to many more miles to come. Since our first EV bus procurement with Proterra in 2010, we knew that zero-emission buses were the future of mass transit. Now, with the new Catalyst E2, this vision is a reality. We’re excited by the possibilities of an all-electric future.” says Doran Barnes, Executive Director at Foothill Transit.
The costs for an all-electric bus are still much higher compared to a diesel-powered bus. But low maintenance costs, subsidies, and avoided external costs, such as avoided air and noise pollution, may offset the acquisition costs. Catalyst E2 is yours for $799,000 – more than twice as much as a conventional bus.
Please don’t forget that it’s possible to realize a climate-neutral urban transport if electric passenger buses are charged with renewable power.