Proterra battery-electric bus passes Altoona testing

Posted on October 1, 2012

Proterra’s  EcoRide BE35 battery-electric bus has become the first heavy-duty electric transit bus to pass the Federal Transit Administration’s Altoona bus testing, according to the company.

Conducted through the Larson Institute at Pennsylvania State University, Altoona testing simulates the use and strain a bus will undergo during its 12-year durable life. The testing is required on all new model buses before they can be purchased with federal funds.

In addition to being the first heavy-duty electric transit bus to pass, the EcoRide BE35 is also the first zero-emissions full-size bus to pass Altoona and was proven to have both the highest fuel economy (22 mpg average) and lowest noise (57 dBA or 10 times lower) of any full-size passenger bus ever tested, officials said.

Testing revealed no Class One failures (those endangering physical safety of passengers) and a limited number of more minor failures, such as broken pins and mountings, all of which have been addressed and resolved through Fall 2012 production.

“Transit agencies across the country now have a viable, proven and tested option for markedly improving the sustainability of their fleets while reducing their total cost of ownership, opening a new world of possibility for them,” said Proterra CEO David Bennett.  “These test results, combined with Proterra’s efforts to advance technology to reduce the cost of the bus make the EcoRide BE35 the best transit bus option on the market, and we expect that burgeoning interest will snowball rapidly.”

Proterra’s EcoRide BE35 battery-electric buses recharge in less than 10 minutes, ready to serve the community with clean electric powered bus service as a direct replacement for existing diesel and CNG buses.

The 35-foot long buses are made of lightweight composite materials and are powered with state-of-the-art battery technology.  As a result, the buses have zero emissions, run virtually silent and are 600% more fuel efficient than diesel buses.

“Most transit agencies recognize the need to seek more fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly vehicle options, but many have held off on moving forward with the newest electric bus options until the technology has been adequately tested,” said Donna DeMartino, General Manager/CEO, San Joaquin Regional Transit District (RTD). “RTD is proud to be an early adopter of Proterra’s battery-electric technology, which will allow us to be more sustainability-driven while reducing our total cost of ownership over time.”

The company’s buses have been or soon will be in operation in the following cities: Austin, Texas; Burbank, Calif.; Columbia, S.C.; Fort Lewis, Wash.; Pomona, Calif.; San Antonio, Texas; Tallahassee, Fla.; Seneca, S.C. and Stockton, Calif.

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