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Proterra
Electric Bus Breaks Record And Travels 1,000 Miles On Single Charge

Large vehicles are continuing to get the electrical treatment and setting records while doing so. The world’s biggest electric dump truck, for example, can carry over 65 tons of weight. Now, a 40-foot bus is able to travel over 1,000 miles. What does this mean? It also broke a single record for going the furthest distance while on a single charge.

Proterra created the Catalyst E2, an EV which holds one of the bigger battery capacities among electric vehicles with 660 kilowatt-hours of energy storage. On a full charge, it's able to travel 1,102 miles when fueled at the Navistar Proving Grounds in New Carlisle, Indiana. The new record continues a trend of Proterra improving on their bus range. They recorded 603 miles with a vehicle that held 440 kilowatt-hours of energy storage last year.

The new record beats out the Schlucksepcht-E, a lightweight German vehicle that traveled slightly over 1,013 miles back in 2011. In terms of style, it resembles more of a single-passenger race car and has a gigantic slope from the top of the windshield to the bottom of the model. The vehicle weighs in at 705 pounds and was powered by 14 lithium-ion battery packs. To put it in perspective, Proterra’s Chief Commercial Officer, Matt Horton, said the bus weighs 46 times more than the Schlucksepcht-E.

“Driven by the best cost savings-per-mile, we believe the business case for heavy-duty electric buses is superior to all other applications, and that the transit market will be the first to transition completely to battery-electric powered vehicles,” Ryan Popple, Proterra’s CEO, said in the press release. “As we see incumbents and more companies enter the heavy-duty EV market, it has become very apparent that the future is all-electric, and the sun is setting on combustion engine technology.”

At 660 kWh, the Catalyst E2’s battery storage falls just below the aforementioned E-Dumper, which is at 700 kWh. However, the dump truck needs to move over 100 tons of weight with at maximum load while the bus weighs around 15 tons according to Horton.  There was no further information, such as charging speed nor speed, for the E2 on its testing route.

Both of these vehicles aren’t ready for mass production, and no transit company has purchased the E2, but it does show the potential of these large electric vehicles. Proterra has been distributing the Foothill Transit in Southern California, which is a smaller 35-foot bus that has a just a 35-mile range. However, it can be recharged in just 10 minutes. Last year, there were plans of Foothill Transit putting in an all-electric bus fleet by 2030.

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