Watch Proterra Electric Bus Conquer Utah’s Steepest Roads

APR 4 2018 BY MARK KANE 13

Proterra recently released video featuring demonstrations of the hill climb capabilities of the Catalyst electric bus with its DuoPower powertrain.

The Proterra DuoPower consists of two electric motors and two gearboxes for a total of 510 horsepower of system output.

Related – Proterra Electric Bus Sets Range Record At 1,100 Miles Without Recharging

According to the video, Catalyst with DuoPower outperforms diesel, hybrid and CNG buses on the steepest mountain highways of Utah.

Besides keeping the speed at a decent level even up a 17% grade, Proterra Catalyst makes use of regenerative braking downhill and achieving excellent energy efficiency.

DuoPower™ Drivetrain

Proterra Catalyst E2 – Available With 440-660 kWh battery

To unlock new route opportunities, Proterra has introduced the new DuoPower™ drivetrain. This new drivetrain delivers twice the horsepower and acceleration and five times the efficiency of a standard diesel engine. By combining the DuoPower drivetrain with Proterra’s market-leading battery technology and lightweight composite bus body, the Catalyst vehicle provides unparalleled performance.

The DuoPower drivetrain features two electric motors that deliver an impressive 510 horsepower, accelerating a Catalyst bus from 0-20 mph in 4.5 seconds, while also achieving an industry-leading 26.1 MPGe. In addition, it can propel a bus up a 26 percent grade, which is more than twice the performance of the average 35- or 40-foot diesel bus, and 100 percent better than the average competing electric transit vehicle, making it an ideal option for transit agencies with steep hills.

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13 Comments on "Watch Proterra Electric Bus Conquer Utah’s Steepest Roads"

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Was the bus fully loaded?

It would be sad if it was not. I picture a Tesla Semi blasting past the Proterra bus on this incline, though. Fully loaded.

proterra is a well designed and built bus.
It is superior to the BYD junk that it competed against.
Here in Colorado, we should be buying proterra, but RTD is so stupid they bought BYD.
Like the golden gate bridge, they are going to find that it is no where near what it is supposed to be, and the money AFTERWARDS will be the expensive part.

“Like the golden gate bridge, they are going to find that it is no where near what it is supposed to be, and the money AFTERWARDS will be the expensive part.”

I don’t know what you are talking about… It appears that you have no idea on what you talking about.

GGB is not and will not be built by the Chinese company.

Do you mean the Bay Bridge Eastern Span?

Get your facts straight…

Great for Proterra but the video was a boring fluff piece. It didn’t bring up the fact that normal ICE buses have mile long vehicles bumper to bumper during hill climbs to the ski resorts. It didn’t mention the weight in the bus to simulate a loaded bus during those tests. And it failed to mention the brake load, failure rate and maintenance with ICE buses compared to EV buses. Nothing from the drivers point of view in handling and in slippery snowy conditions. Nothing about charging times and real world mileage. Really a shame for this long, drawn-out boring video. It had so much potential… Let me produce it next time. 🙂


Nice thing about this is there’s no chance of overheating since you can dump motor and pack heat to the cabin and to the air once the cabin is hot.

It’s unclear how fully loaded was the bus … but nonetheless, good job Proterra.

Proterra gets the job done and they make a solid product.
Go Proterra!

I want to see the bus painted like a giant “AA” call battery.


Note the point made about taking over diesel routes. The early Proterra buses weren’t capable of that since they were designed for frequent recharging. This was the big advantage BYD had for a while.

Do they make them in RHD ?


Max hill climb of 26% …

I really have problems imagining a bus going up such a steep road.

Do such roads even exist? …
…will the transformation to EV’s allow for changes in road design? … imagine the sign… 25 % hill climb ahead… ICE vehicles please take next exit…

so many questions…