Proterra Catalyst E2 Electric Bus Drives More Than 600 Miles In Test


Proterra makes carbon fiber electric buses that can replace traditional diesel powered buses on short. The company is experiencing explosive growth, with sales up 220% this year as compared to 2015. Its Catalyst FC and XR serics buses are already replacing many traditional buses on circulator and short to medium range routes. Now it is introducing its E2 series of long range buses.

Proterra Catalyst E2 electruc bus

With batteries ranging from 440 to 660 kWh, the E2 (which stands for efficient energy) is capable of traveling more than 600 miles under test conditions. In fact, an E2 bus did exactly that during a test at Michelin’s Laurens Proving Grounds last month. With a nominal range of 194 rto 350 miles in revenue service, the Catalyst E2 can handle virtually all US mass transit routes on a single charge.

Proterra plans to double capacity at its factories in South Carolina and Californis in 2017. To date, Proterra buses across the United States have completed more than 2.5 million miles of revenue service, saving 540,000 gallons of diesel, and eliminating more than 10 million pounds of carbon emissions.

“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,” 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.”

Proterra is proving that the bottom line is the key to the transition from fossil fuels to electric power for the world’s transportaion needs. The transit authorities lining up to buy electric buses from Proterra are happy to help save the planet, of course, but they are first and foremost concerned with saving money.

Proterra buses save them money that would otherwise go to buying diesel fuel. Electric drivetrains also cost less to maintain, while the carbon fiber chassis of the Proterra offerings mean they last longer. Taken together, all those factors mean Proterra electric buses costs transit authorities less money to purchase and maintain. The benefits to the environment are a nice plus, too.

To read more about Proterra’s dynamic CEO, Ryan Popple, please read our story about him published a few weeks ago. Some call him the Elon Musk of the bus business and when you read what he has to say, you will understand why.

Sourec: Electric Cars Report


About the Author

I have been a car nut since the days when Rob Walker and Henry N. Manney, III graced the pages of Road & Track. Today, I use my trusty Miata for TSD rallies and occasional track days at Lime Rock and Watkins Glen. If it moves on wheels, I’m interested in it. Please follow me on Google + and Twitter.

  • Marc P

    Would like to know:
    What’s the up front cost for one of these compared to a diesel bus ?
    Also, how long would it take to charge a 660kwh battery ?

    • Steve Hanley

      Ryan Popple claims the upfront cost is equivalent to a comparable diesel hybrid bus. He also says a conventional bus has a useful life of 10 to 12 years while the Protrerra is expected to last 12 to 15 years,

      I have read accounts that claim transit systems that have purchased buses from Proterra have found them even more cost efficient than their estimatss.

      • Marc P

        Diesel-hybrid, maybe but not just a regular bus. From another article: “The only thing that might hold cities and companies back from purchasing E2 is that one will set them back $799,000, over twice the amount of a typical diesel bus.”

  • libertydoc

    I read all the typos in this note and I feel uncertain about the veracity of the article.

  • OldSilk

    I am guessing that 660 kwh of electricity per day per bus at fleet charging stations must be a different type of electricity than 660 kwh for home electricity. So, whence comes the electricity for bus charging stations? We know the answer to that question for home electricity.

    • Steve Hanley

      I don’t know the precise answer, but I’m certain that a full recharge can occur between the end of service one day and the beginning of service the next.

  • kevin mccune

    Quiet leads to disbelief,I tend to believe the claims if bona fida testing is done,I have seen electric trolleys powered by APUs and batteries seem to work fine ,but the driver has to watch the torque to prevent wheelspin among other things ,I guess its coming in “fits and starts “.
    At the end of the day I dont care how it gets me home (as long as it does )

  • Burnerjack

    Add a full array of solar PV on top and this would make an awesome basis for an RV.
    Aside from that, how do these compare with the offerings from BYD?

    • Steve Hanley

      BYD will tell you theirs is better! The big plus Proterra has going for it is the use of carbon fiber in the chassis. And Ryan Popple, of course. Take a moment to read the article about him hot linked above. He really is quite something.