Proterra Surpasses 150 Electric Bus Orders

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Originally published on EV Obsession.

One of the leading electric bus firms in the US, Proterra, has won the majority of the vehicle supply contracts accompanying the awards supplied through the Federal Transit Administration Low or No Emission Vehicle Deployment Grant, according to a new press release.

proterra-terravolt-xrWhat this means in practice, is that 33 brand-new Proterra Catalyst electric buses are now slated to be deployed to various transit agencies receiving Federal Transit Administration (FTA) funds around the country.

Altogether, that means that Proterra has now received orders from 16 different US transit agencies, for a total of 155 electric buses.

The press release provides more:

As one of the largest transit agencies in the United States, serving 3.9 million people in five counties in and around Philadelphia, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) will receive $2,585,075 from FTA and use the funds to purchase 25 Proterra Catalyst buses and five overhead chargers. SEPTA will be procuring more zero-emission vehicles with less Low-No funding than any other grant recipient, which is a testament to SEPTA’s electric vehicle vision and state of the EV bus market. Proterra zero-emission buses will be deployed on Routes 29 and 79 in South Philadelphia.

…On the heels of completing one of the most rigorous performance tests, King County Metro Transit, serving the greater area of Seattle Washington, will now be able to fully electrify two routes using new funds from FTA’s Low-No Program for eight new Proterra Catalyst vehicles. Recently, the Catalyst simulated one year of operation and averaged 325 miles of driving each day with a constant 97 passenger equivalent load during King County’s accelerated durability and reliability test. Over the testing period, the Proterra Catalyst averaged 15 MPGe, which is 213% more efficient than current King County Metro 40′ diesel buses and is expected to improve to 18 MPGe with normal passenger loads.

Proterra’s first customer and the first agency in the US to operate EV buses in revenue service, Foothill Transit, also received Low-No grant funding that will go towards electric charging facilities and support the transit agency’s ongoing electric bus program. Foothill Transit, which serves more than 14 million customers in Los Angeles County, will be receiving 15 more EVs from Proterra this year and next, including the first commercial deliveries of Proterra’s long-range XR technology vehicles, which will be fully compatible with their existing Fast Charge FC vehicles and chargers, bringing Foothill’s all-electric fleet to nearly 10% of the transit agency’s total.

SEPTA’s Board Chairman, Pasquale T Deon, commented: “SEPTA is excited to be able to move forward with the purchase of 25 emission-free electric buses from Proterra. SEPTA already has one of the greenest bus fleets in the nation, with over half of our vehicles operating diesel-electric hybrids. The addition of electric buses furthers our commitment to a sustainable future for our riders and local residents.”

The CEO of Proterra, Ryan Popple, did so as well: “This is a big win for Proterra and the industry alike because it signals continual market demand for zero-emission vehicles. We are pleased to be supporting SEPTA, Foothill Transit and King County Metro in their electrification efforts and are committed to designing and manufacturing state-of-the-art, zero-emission buses that ultimately save our customers time and money.”

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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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12 thoughts on “Proterra Surpasses 150 Electric Bus Orders

  • I applaud them. I just hope they can satisfy demand, because it will get enormous in the next few years.

    • Yes, hope they are preparing to scale up quickly. And will be able to.

  • Meanwhile, the world leader BYD has to make its way against a whole delaying Sargasso Sea of protectionist sentiment and “buy American” rules. Chinese firms are often criticised for parasitising or stealing Western technology. When they invest in innovation, as in electric buses, do they get a fair chance?

    • While I “agree” BYD is hitting the same wall in USA as USA firms hit in China. Now that they have opened a plant in USA. Oh my I think sales are coming in! There is more than enough space for both of them to sell a lot more buses in both USA and China, not to mention the rest of the world.

  • I personally like the New Flyer models better.

    Anyway, Proterra, BYD, and New Flyer… there seems to be enough business for all three of them at once.

    • Yes – would love to see a huge conversion of transit buses worldwide to electric. A study by Golden Gate Transit showed lowest total cost of ownership is currently diesel/hybrid. Batteries need to come down in price another notch to make the EV buses cheaper. Meanwhile, hybrid buses are much nicer than traditional because the engine never revs up loudly and they burn half the fuel.

  • Worth noting: Philadelphia routes 29 and 79 are former trolleybus routes. Locals have complained bitterly about the replacement with diesel buses. This is a much more appropriate replacement.

  • Zach – Does Proterra have plans for an electric school bus? Get those kids used to clean tech now, and keep them healthier at the same time.

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