Proterra Opens Up Its EV-Fast-Charging Technology Patents

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The electric bus manufacturer Proterra has opened up its patents for overhead on-route fast-charging technology to the broader transportation industry on a royalty-free basis. The stated goal behind the move is the acceleration of electric bus and heavy-duty transportation technology development and implementation.

The recent press release provides more, commenting that, “with the recent issuance of foundational patents covering this technology, Proterra is now clear to offer a complete technology package to the market. Proterra will grant anyone royalty-free access to its patents covering its industry-leading single-blade overhead charging design. This includes the bus-mounted, single-blade charging design and the overhead charging coupler. Consistent with this, Proterra is working with its suppliers to open up Proterra’s single-blade overhead charging design for direct sale to third parties. Industry-wide availability of the company’s single-blade overhead charging design will advance standardization efforts and will facilitate additional innovation.”

More details on the company’s royalty-free access to single-blade technology can be found on its website here.

Proterra-Catalyst-XR Battery electric bus by Proerra

The Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County, Nevada, Lee Gibson, commented on the move by Proterra: “As more and more electric buses operate on US roads, it will be critical for the transit industry to have access to open technology platforms in order to effectively scale this technology and enhance the transit industry. With Proterra opening up its technology to other manufacturers, this will significantly benefit communities across the nation with this proven technology. Together they can move the industry forward.”

Autoblog‘s coverage of the news featured an interview with the company’s CEO, Ryan Popple, which included the interesting excerpt posted below.

Autoblog asked: “Which of Proterra’s patents do you think will be most widely used by other companies? Which has the potential to actually make an impact for a company that isn’t Proterra?” The CEO replied: “All three patents in concert are important for Proterra’s Single Blade Charging Technology charging solution. As the market leader, Proterra believes we are in the best position to provide a solution that accelerates the industry. We’ve tried a lot of versions of overhead fast-charge technology and the Single Blade Charging Technology was the only one we commercialized, because it’s the safest and most effective. If a transit agency has a bad experience with charging an electric bus, it will slow the entire industry, so we think it’s beneficial to ensure that the solutions introduced to the market are safe.”

Continuing: “All of the patents to which Proterra is providing royalty-free access cover key aspects of the Single Blade Charging Technology and we believe that providing access to Proterra’s Single Blade Charging Technology will benefit both sellers and customers by utilizing the best technical solution. One of the biggest things we aim to accomplish with this move is to show transit customers that the fast charging technology is open and available for anyone to use. This de-risks their uncertainty to switch to EV, because they won’t be locked in to a single bus vendor. Some of our diesel and CNG bus competitors have argued that transit agencies shouldn’t go electric because of vendor lock-in. This is no longer an issue, because now any bus.”

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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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