If Tesla is the undisputed leader of electric cars, then Proterra is the current holder of that title in the electric powered public transit arena. Not only did a battery-electric bus built by the company recently set a record for the most miles traveled in a day – driving more than 700 miles in a 24 hour period – it did it with an average fuel efficiency of nearly 27 miles per gallon, nearly six times that of a diesel bus and seven times that of CNG.
While the record was set as part of testing conducted on Proterra buses before they are delivered, the bus used for this test is set to go into revenue service in the Southeastern United States within the next few months. In addition, the test was conducted on a route designed to simulate both commuter and central business district routes and drive cycles.
The bus, which ran an average of 29 miles per hour with the HVAC system running, was charged periodically throughout the day, using Proterra’s proprietary fast-charging process. This technology allows a bus to fully charge in less time than it takes to charge a cell phone.
According to Proterra Inc. CEO Garrett Mikita, “this record offers definitive proof that all-electric Proterra buses combine the durability and functionality of conventional buses, while significantly reducing total cost of ownership, fuel consumption and greenhouse emissions. We are even more proud of the fact that we demonstrated this performance using a regular production bus with the same features and performance we build into all our buses.”
Proterra is the only EV bus manufacturer with buses currently in revenue service in the United States. Its buses operate in San Antonio, Worcester, Reno, Stockton, Pomona and Tallahassee, with deliveries scheduled for Nashville and Louisville, among others. Based on the strong performance of its buses, Proterra has earned repeat orders from several agencies and played a key role in spurring the interest in and growth of EV transit throughout the country.
The company has backing from a strong group of investors, including KPBC and GM Ventures.