The alternative energy vehicle company Proterra unveiled a new bus unit reportedly capable of driving over 300 miles with a single charge. The all-electric Proterra Catalyst E2 was unveiled earlier this Monday, September 12 at the American Public Transit Association annual meeting.
Proterra’s unveiling follows an ever-expanding movement in the automotive industry toward alternative energies and new technologies. The Catalyst E2 is the latest bus by the company, which has been operational since 2004. Major manufacturers like Tesla and Mercedes have already pledged to build electric buses for environmentally friendly public transit solutions in the future.
The Catalyst E2 announcement comes on the eve of Tesla’s 300-mile battery reveal for the Tesla Model S. The 77-seat bus can outperform the recently announced Tesla battery by nearly double the distance.
Proterra’s Catalyst E2 can travel 600 miles on a single charge
The bus prototype is modest regarding design, not going for anything revolutionary besides the green and blue paint job shown in the prototype. Public transit companies that buy the Catalyst E2 can, of course, customize it any way they wish.
Weighing 27,000 pounds and measuring 40 feet long, the Catalyst E2 sports a double battery pack ranging from 440 to 660 kWH, and it is reportedly the size of a mattress. The power source sits in the middle and under the bus to provide a more stable gravity center while driving.
During a test drive at Michelin’s Laurens Proving Grounds, the Proterra bus reportedly traveled over 600 miles on a single charge. This milestone for the company’s mass transit vehicle represents a substantial proof that the coach can cover almost every public transportation route in the United States with ease.
Proterra has sold over 300 E2s in advance across the country
Matt Horton, the Vice President of Sales at the green automotive startup, claimed that they did not have much success at first due to the lacking qualities of their first bus fleets.
“The first generation of long-range vehicles we brought out wasn’t good enough for the market. It just couldn’t do all the routes out there, and frankly, there aren’t any electric buses out there that can today,” said Hotton remembering the company’s beginnings.
It has been a long way since then, and Proterra managed to match the profits for its first ten years of sales in only one year back in 2015. Now, with the rollout of the upcoming Catalyst E2, the alternative energy automotive company seeks to reach a new milestone.
As of now, 300 Catalyst E2s have been pre-ordered nationwide, with the first 34 going to the Foothill Transit Authority in Los Angeles in 2017. The $800,000 electric bus will also cover routes in over ten different cities of the U.S. next year.