Proterra has officially announced its latest fifth-generation battery-electric transit vehicle, the Proterra ZX5, available in 40-foot and 35-foot lengths.

It's hard to believe that it's already 5th generation, but Proterra has been on the forefront of bus electrification for a decade. The first buses were delivered to Foothill Transit in California in 2010 (see videos on the bottom).

The list of improvements include:

  • a more streamlined body design and a lower vehicle height that enables greater route access,
  • new shocks and enhanced ergonomics to provide riders and drivers with a smoother riding experience
  • an additional front port for vehicle charging

"As communities move to electrifying their entire transit fleets, Proterra’s new ZX5 battery-electric transit bus is designed for full fleet electrification, manufactured for scale, and built from the ground up with a refined composite bus body design and an emphasis on safety, durability, and performance."

Proterra ZX5 electric bus
Proterra ZX5 electric bus

According to the manufacturer, the ZX5 is equipped with the highest battery capacity (up to 660 kWh) and range among electric transit buses (up to 329 miles / 529 km). The two other battery options are 440 kWh and 220 kWh.


ZX5 is also quicker than the previous generation, having more power. There are two drive unit options:

  • standard ProDrive drivetrain (single motor)
  • DuoPower drivetrain (dual motor)
    "The DuoPower drivetrain delivers nearly twice the horsepower and five times better fuel efficiency than a standard diesel engine. The DuoPower drivetrain features two electric motors that deliver an impressive 550 horsepower, accelerating a ZX5 bus from 0 to 20 mph in under six seconds. In addition, the DuoPower drivetrain can propel a bus up a 25% grade, making it an ideal option for routes with steep hills."

So far, Proterra sold or received orders for electric buses from more than 120 customers throughout North America and its vehicles covered more than 13 million miles in service.

The company did not reveal how many vehicles exactly were delivered, but says it's more than any other manufacturer.

Jack Allen, Proterra CEO and Chairman said:

“A decade ago, Proterra delivered its first battery-electric transit bus. We were at the start of the transportation electrification revolution in North America. As more cities and states make the commitment to 100% zero-emission fleets, Proterra is introducing new vehicle and battery technology to meet the needs of our customers. Today, we are excited to unveil our fifth-generation electric transit vehicle, the Proterra ZX5, which is designed to tackle the toughest routes and terrains across North America,”.

See the first all-electric Proterra buses deployed in 2010:

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