Louisiana’s First Five Electric Buses Come Via Proterra

DEC 3 2017 BY MARK KANE 11

Proterra has delivered Louisiana’s first electric bus … well several actually.


In total, five Proterra 40’ Catalyst E2 have gone into service in Shreveport, the third-largest city in the state – all under the operation of SportTran.

Additionally, Proterra has supplied three depot chargers (CCS Combo DC), and also an on-route, fast charger.

To finance the purchase, SporTran secured Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Low or No-Emission Vehicle Deployment Grant.

“This milestone marks the combined commitment and foresight of SporTran and Shreveport in being the first city in the state to purchase battery-electric buses, paving the way for other public transit agencies to follow suit and recognize the economic, environmental and operations benefits. To mark this achievement, SporTran, Proterra and senior government officials came together today with Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards to commemorate the deployment of the new electric buses and the debut of new transit stations and infrastructure.”

“In 2016, SporTran won the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Low or No-Emission Vehicle Deployment Grant, which funded the five electric buses, three depot chargers and an on-route fast charger. By replacing its diesel buses, SporTran estimates that the new Proterra Catalyst buses will save more than $2.2 million on maintenance and fuel, over the lifetime of the five vehicles. As a result, SporTran will re-invest the savings into Shreveport’s transportation system with the goal of improving bus routes, technology and rider experience.

Designed for efficiency and manufactured for durability, Proterra’s 40’ Catalyst E2 series gets 22 MPGe, while conventional diesel buses average 3.86 MPG. And unlike the industry’s widely-used steel bus frames, Proterra’s lightweight carbon-fiber-reinforced composite bus body maximizes vehicle life, while minimizing repairs and maintenance.  These buses will utilize Combined Charge Standard (CCS) plug-in DC Fast Chargers, enabling multiple types and brands of EV cars, trucks and buses to potentially share the same charging equipment and lower infrastructure costs for all-electric vehicles. Over the 12-year lifetime of the five Proterra zero-emission buses, SporTran will avoid more than 18 million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions.”

Dinero Washington, CEO at SporTran said:

“In the wake of a devastating hurricane season for surrounding communities, we’re reminded by our long-term mission to sustainably serve Shreveport and our neighbors. This means providing reliable and safe transit for all. It also means providing innovative and cost-saving solutions that ensure clean, reliable transit today and for years to come. We’re proud to partner with Proterra and introduce these new zero-emission buses into our fleet.”

Ryan Popple, CEO, Proterra said:

“We are proud to partner with SporTran, an innovative transit agency that continues to raise the transit bar for its passengers and community alike. We look forward to helping SporTran speed into a cleaner, healthier future for all, by providing a model for zero-emission transit,”.

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11 Comments on "Louisiana’s First Five Electric Buses Come Via Proterra"

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Side note: The order that those buses are put in is very annoying.

I hear you Ken. My first thought was, “Have they never heard of Roy G Biv?” Who is this Rov B G? A rapper of some sort?

If you didn’t get the color spectrum “joke”, no surprise, my humor leaves a lot to be desired…

Seriously, though, I am glad to see Proterra pick up another contract. Hopefully this will lead to even larger contracts in the near future. Buses, taxis, garbage trucks (with some caveats) and postal vans… These seem to be the perfect vehicles to be using electricity for an energy source.

We all know that violet has more energy than green and blue so it’s natural for it to overtake those buses. 😉

I’m frankly surprised such grants still exist in today’s political world. It would seem electric buses have hit critical mass and will be capturing a large chunk of market in the next couple years as build out capacity increases. This is also true for natural gas buses. Presumably the market share for diesel on new buses is dropping and will drop quickly in 2018 but I can’t seem to find a good source article that captures that trend in numbers. Perhaps a good topic of an article here.

These in city buses should be electrified first. They stop too much and the electricity saved by regen is emormous. Also when starting, they won’t spew diesel smoke that pollute the city so much. They are on fixed preplanned routes. The electricity and battery capacity can be easily managed.

Made in South Carolina and California too. Nice seeing another new US based company doing well.

It is not often that I see my homes state portrayed in a positive article on this site.

I wonder if Tesla would offer a bus based on semi chassis. May be coach builders can buy a semi and build out a Bus.

What Company makes the electrical equipment used in this Bus, and how much of it is produced in the U.S.?

“Proterra has embraced the U.S. Department of Transportation’s vision for an infrastructure model that prioritizes domestic job growth and technological innovation. We source more than 75 percent of the materials that make up Proterra vehicles right here in the United States. We’re committed to strengthening the U.S. transit industry and creating jobs here at home through domestic manufacturing.” https://www.proterra.com/our-story/buy-america/

I’ve personally built parts for these bus’s and it is amazing to see the very finished product.