May 9, 2013

Proterra, Altair showcase electric bus, battery tech in Ind.

Altair Nanotechnologies Inc., a lithium-titanate battery systems manufacturer, hosted its client Proterra Inc., a manufacturer of clean commercial transportation solutions, for a demonstration at its Anderson, Ind., facility.

Proterra showcased its EcoRide EV bus — called the "bus of tomorrow" by outgoing U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood — and provided test rides to event guests.

"It's thrilling to see the success of our collaboration with Proterra in action," said Michael Canada, VP/GM of U.S. operations for Altairnano. "This demonstration allowed public officials, local economic development decision makers and transit thought leaders a chance to see one of the most exciting emerging Indiana energy storage projects in action."

Most battery technologies require a bus to charge slowly for several hours. This means transit providers need extra reserve buses in the system that aren't in service, adding costs. In addition, most rechargeable batteries add considerable weight and bulk to a bus, reducing passenger load capacity.

Altairnano's fast-charge capability omits the need for extra buses charging; operating shuttles can charge at a scheduled stop along the bus route in less than 10 minutes. This technology will allow more communities to offer clean, quiet rides to passengers, using a zero-emission solution that is a viable one-for-one replacement for conventional diesel-powered buses.

"Altairnano's fast-charge capability is an important part of what makes the Proterra bus such an innovative green solution for our country," said Dale Hill, founder of Proterra. "The bus can run a two-and-a-half-hour bus route after a single five- to 10-minute rapid charge, and the batteries have an expected lifespan that would require only one battery replacement during the 12 year expected life of a transit bus. Altairnano's solution is the best we have found in the industry for fast charging of buses."

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