University of Montana Goes With Proterra Electric Buses

MAR 4 2016 BY MARK KANE 12

University of Montana

University of Montana

Proterra received an order for two electric buses for the Associated Students of the University of Montana (ASUM) Transportation and announced that it intends to supply EV buses to campus locations nationwide in the future.

The first project for the University of Montana consists of two 40-foot Catalyst Fast Charge buses and one semi-autonomous fast charger.

Delivery is scheduled for September 2016.

“This procurement marks a new era for ASUM as it prioritizes electric vehicle mass transit and begins to replace its diesel vehicles with Proterra’s state-of-the-art technology. Notably, ASUM is one of a handful of student-led transit agencies in the United States, demonstrating that the next generation of transit market leaders will regard sustainable transport as a priority rather than a luxury.”

“Founded in 1999 by a student referendum, ASUM Transportation has a unique history of fostering student governance and tackling critical issues to ensure a safe and efficient transit experience for the university’s population. Since its inception, ASUM’s weekly ridership has grown to nearly 15,000; last year alone it provided more than 400,000 complimentary rides to students, faculty and visitors and 14 percent of all trips to campus occur on ASUM’s UDASH service. ASUM’s purchase of zero-emission, battery-electric buses is a testament to its community leadership and environmental stewardship and will help the UM meet its goals of carbon neutrality by 2020. When the Proterra buses enter service in September 2016, ASUM Transportation expects them to immediately improve local air quality, reducing emission by 1,392 tons over their 12-year lifespan.

Proterra’s Total Cost of Ownership was a major selling point for ASUM, given the transit agency’s size and limited resources. In addition to financing the buses through the state of Montana’s INTERCAP program, ASUM received a Diesel Emissions Reduction Act grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for $163,191, which aims to improve public health through reducing emissions and particulate matter.”

Jordan Hess, ASUM Office of Transportation Director said:

“On behalf of everyone involved at ASUM, I’d like to express our enthusiasm for Proterra’s zero-emission electric buses. As part of our ongoing effort to innovate service, align with student advocacy and reduce our carbon footprint, we take great pride in our decision to go electric. We hope this encourages – and challenges – other universities to seriously consider the economic and environmental benefits of zero-emission buses.”

Ryan Popple, CEO of Proterra said:

“Bringing more zero-emission buses to university campuses around the U.S. will be an integral part of Proterra’s next stage of growth, and we couldn’t be happier to announce ASUM as our first university customer. Millennials are driving less and seeking out transit more. With this increase in demand, our mission is to guarantee that younger riders have clean, quiet, emission-free public transportation. Proterra is taking state-of-the-art EV technology and deploying it into the most accessible transportation asset in the country.”

More about the project here.

Categories: Bus


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12 Comments on "University of Montana Goes With Proterra Electric Buses"

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What the heck is a “semi-autonomous fast charger”, or an “autonomous fast charger” for that matter? The only mention of the phrase that quick Googling yields is a ref to this specific press release…

Maybe they are talking about this:

Think snakes. Steel-armoured, robotic, writhing, anus-seeking charging cable snakes.

Buses are an excellent fit for elctric drive because of the huge fossil fuel savings; second only to class 8 trucks,i.e., heavy weight long haul diesels.

Electric bicycles and electric buses work very well in conjunction with one another to provide door to door transportation in cities. In many cases, that’s all you need; ride the bike to the bus stop load the bike aboard and use it at the end stop.

Maybe – Electric Skateboards would suit the Equation nicely for Campuses too, as you don’t have to stop at the bike Rack to lock it up, like a bike, but can bring it right to class with your!


Thinking of the future – maybe now is the time to think of Electric Skateboards for Kids, aged 12 & Up! Get them on board with the EV Movement ‘From the Ground Up’, along with Electric Assist Bicycles – they won’t ant to drive ICE Vehicles at all when they hit 16!

Wow great news…it seems like Republican states are thinking with their brains not their bibles LOL

I keep reading about this bus company, but I don’t believe they received a single large order 🙁

Proterra has sold at least 79 EV buses not including the two from the story above. How many EV buses does BYD have on the road in the U.S.?,_Inc.#Current_Operations

Hmm, so that’s one article per bus sold. I do wonder why BYD hasn’t sold more buses in NA and EU, they tested them in NYC, London and other places yet nothing came out of it…

About 30% of city buses are either CNG or hybrid CNG. If you need range but don’t want to carry 5000 pounds of batteries, that is an option.

natural gas emissions are overall better than diesel, but not by a whole lot…plus, the buses are still noisy and require substantial maintenance compared to an EV bus.

If the market is suppose to decide, more than 30% are more buses than less than 1%.