Proterra Electric Bus Trial Underway In Alaska

JAN 28 2018 BY MARK KANE 6

The Municipality Of Anchorage, Alaska

Electric vehicles and really cold weather are a tough combination, but more and more capable BEVs are aspiring now to serve in frigid places like Anchorage, Alaska.

Proterra Catalyst electric bus in winter scenery

The Municipality of Anchorage’s (MOA) Public Transportation Department (PTD) announced that it’s trialing the new 40-foot Proterra Catalyst E2 electric bus for the next four months.

Cold weather affects EVs because electric heating consumes a lot of energy, decreasing range, while in most cases batteries struggles to charge quickly at low temperatures.

The bus operates everyday on routes 10, 25, and 35.

PTD encourages users to share experiences riding the battery-powered bus on social media using #ElectricRideANC.

“The MOA and Proterra will debut the new bus at a kickoff event and Anchorage Assembly tour starting at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018 at the PTD Administration Building, 3600 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Ave., Anchorage. The bus will begin serving routes for the general public starting Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018 for a four month trial period.
Kickoff Event/Assembly Tour – January 11, 2018

10:30-11am – Bus will be available for press photos

11 – 11:15am – Presentation/Overview will be given to the Anchorage Assembly members and Press

11:15 – 12pm – Bus driving tour to the Dimond Transit Center and back

The four month trial period will test how the bus performs in winter weather, how cold temperatures affect the battery life and whether it’s feasible to pursue an electric bus fleet in the future. PTD partnered with MOA’s Solid Waste Services (SWS) to lease the bus. SWS will also be monitoring its performance to help establish the feasibility of electric garbage trucks.

A Proterra Catalyst bus is 100% electric, emitting zero tailpipe emissions or pollutants—reducing CO2 emissions by an astounding 243,980 lbs. annually per diesel vehicle replaced. Without a combustion engine, a Catalyst vehicle also substantially reduces noise pollution.”

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6 Comments on "Proterra Electric Bus Trial Underway In Alaska"

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The electric heating systems work really really well.

Nyc transit are using them in trial runs.

Which explains the picture.

Alaska is thinly populated, so there’s no state grid; 33% of electricity generation is renewable (mostly hydro, some wind/biomass).

I wish that Alaska would start getting some of the nuclear SMRs that are up and coming.
Alaska needs small spread out power plants, and nuscale with 50 MW is ideal.

When a bus is in operation all day then keeping the battery at a comfy temp shouldn’t be much of a problem. You’ll have to warm the interior anyway, so putting good insulation around the battery and keeping it at cabin temp shouldn’t cost too much energy.

In the morning pre-heating of both the interior and the battery can be done while it is still plugged in.