Electric vehicles are the future of transportation in the world. Not just for domestic personal use, these vehicles are now also used for heavy-duty transportation and even construction. Proterra, an innovator in the arena, has just set a world record for the longest distance ever travelled by an electric vehicle on a single charge. A little while back, a Tesla Model S managed to travel a distance of 670 miles under strict conditions, but the Proterra Electric Bus beats that by a huge margin.
Just this month, the Proterra Catalyst E2 broke the record of maximum range by attaining a range of 1,101.2 miles (1,772.2 kilometers) with its energy storage capacity of 660 kWh. The company has been pushing its limits for years. When the Catalyst E2 was first revealed in September 2016, the range was projected to be only 350 miles. Proterra pushed to a range of 258 miles (415 km) with 257 kWh of energy storage in 2015. They beat their record with 603 miles (970 km) on 440 kWh of energy storage in September 2016. Matt Horton, the Chief Commercial Officer for the company, says,
“For our heavy-duty electric bus to break the previous world record of 1,013.76 miles — which was set by a light-duty passenger EV 46 times lighter than the Catalyst E2 max — is a major feat. This record achievement is a testament to Proterra’s purpose-built electric bus design, energy-dense batteries, and efficient drivetrain.”
The marvelous range capacity of the E2 is attributed to its lightweight carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) body. With a weight slightly less than 15 tons, the bus reaches record levels of fuel efficiency. It marks another milestone in the company’s mission of mass adoption of heavy-duty electric vehicles.
Ryan Popple, CEO of Proterra, proudly says,
“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. Early electric bus adopters like our first customer, Foothill Transit, have paved the way for future heavy-duty applications, like motor coaches and commercial trucks. 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.”
Many investors have shown interest in the E2 and Catalyst XR buses, both of which are made from composite materials. Just last year in June, BMW i Ventures and Al Gore’s Generation Investment Management invested a total of $55 million in the company. Proterra will use this investment to boost its R&D and upscale the production facilities in South Carolina and Los Angeles.