Proterra Launches 35-Foot Electric Bus

OCT 14 2015 BY MARK KANE 10

Proterra Catalyst

Proterra Catalyst

Proterra announced a new, shorter 35-foot Catalyst electric bus based on the 40-foot version (in photos).

The nimbler bus already attracted its first customer -specifically the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART), who ordered 7 units.

DART bought the Fast Charging (FC) versions with two overhead semi-autonomous fast chargers, so the energy will be replenished in less than 10 minutes.

The 35 foot bus uses the TerraFlex Energy System, which provides customers with the ability to choose between 53 kWh to 321 kWh of energy storage – depending on if they want a long range solution, or a shorter range, but with multiple fast charges – we believe DART’s buses are of the 53 kWh option (up to almost ~30 miles of range) given the fast charging claims.

DART president and executive director Gary Thomas said:

“We believe in staying at the forefront of transit, so Proterra’s high performance zero-emission electric buses were an easy decision for us to make. These buses will give our riders and drivers the most modern bus transit experience on the road,”

Ryan Popple, CEO of Proterra said:

“The overwhelming success of our 40-foot Catalyst bus continues to drive new demand. We’re pleased to have Dallas as our first customer as they redefine their urban core and invest in a Smart City vision, prioritizing infrastructure, mobility, and connected living. With Texas’ growing wind capacity, we’re pleased to provide a complementary clean mobility solution that will help Dallas improve its local air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

About the Catalyst:

“Built from the ground-up to be completely optimized as an EV, the Catalyst is the only purpose-built bus in its class, recently proving its industry-leading performance by breaking four national records with the 40-foot vehicle in efficiency, gradeability, weight and acceleration at the Altoona Bus Research and Testing Center. “The modular approach we have taken with the Catalyst design enables us to stay at the forefront of innovation and enable our customers to optimize their fleets over the average 12-year life of the bus,” said John Sleconich, Chief Engineer at Proterra. “Road safety is paramount to our design, so we’ve integrated a collision avoidance system that offers both safety benefits as well as potential customer savings.”

The modular configuration is a part of Proterra’s tech-centric approach to electrifying mass transit routes across the United States. It offers customers the flexibility to change or upgrade the energy storage and charging systems as their transit needs evolve. By choosing from two base vehicle sizes, then configuring each bus with the right type of energy storage and charging systems, transit agencies can meet each route’s daily range requirements, remain adaptable to future changes, eliminate fossil fuel emissions in their communities and ultimately save money over the lifetime of their vehicles.”

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10 Comments on "Proterra Launches 35-Foot Electric Bus"

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One might wonder if the name “Catalyst” is a thumb in the eye to fuel cells

Yeah, great. They make amazing buses and all, but my country – UK – is never going to buy them. All our electric buses come from BYD and are unsightly, noisy, shorter range, less reliable, and much slower to charge.

Your BYD buses have less than 30 miles range?

There was nothing correct in that post. 😛 Except for the sound.

Awesome! Glad to see my city is being progressive. Dallas has always been a little more forward-thinking than the rest of Texas, which is why I like it here.

Dallas more forward-thinking than the rest of Texas? I thought the People’s Republic of Austin with their hairy legged women and liberal fruitcakes was way more forward-thinking than the Dallas snobs with their Mercedes, and the rest of Texas. 😉

That description of TX is pretty accurate. Especially ? to Panhandle.

Price? If it costs far more than gas bus, it’s actually bad since it’ll limit the number of busses by taking away from buying more busses. Then fewer people riding public transit, more traffic, more oil use, etc.

Even many existing public transit cost outrageously high, such as crenshaw line (8.5 miles) at $1.4B for 16,000 daily ridership work out to $87,500 per rider. At $1 fare, it’d take 240 years to recoup the cost! Far better would be to give free SparkEV (~$15K post subsidy) to 93,000 residents.

I’m not saying BART is so poorly run, but one has to look at price before deciding if it’s good or insane.

From a TCO perspective – EV busses are bought because they are cheaper! In the US the standard is 12 years and 250 000 miles. For large automotive batteries 250 000 miles is nothing and they can be repurposed for energy storage.