Alexander Dennis Selects Proterra To Build First Electric Double Deck Transit Bus For North America

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Alexander Dennis Inc (ADI), Proterra, and Southern California’s Foothill Transit announce the first electric double deck bus order for a public transit agency in North America. ADI selected Proterra’s E3 battery technology for its next-generation double deck Enviro500 platform for the North American market.

An ADI spokesperson shared with CleanTechnica that Proterra was selected to provide the electric batteries and powertrain because of its ability to, “deliver a proven and reliable battery solution with outstanding range in the correct timescales and to the high quality standards we expect from all our partners.” The two ADI Enviro500 units in the order will go into service at Foothill Transit in Q4 2019 and complement FT’s existing electric vehicle fleet.

With its core focus on battery safety, durability, and performance, it is no surprise that Proterra’s battery packs also sport the highest pack-level energy density in the heavy-duty industry at 160 Wh/kg and 260 Wh/L. In a bus that is all about hauling as many people as possible inside of a single bus footprint, the ability to pack more storage capacity into less space means more room for passengers for Foothill Transit. The new Alexander Dennis Enviro500 vehicles will complement Proterra’s E2 battery packs with Proterra charging hardware and battery thermal management.

Ryan Popple, CEO of Proterra, shared that, “As electric mobility continues to evolve, we’re pleased our battery technology has been chosen by world class, heavy-duty manufacturers like Alexander Dennis in their pursuit to go electric in North America. The opportunities to electrify medium- and heavy-duty platforms with our technology, from transit vehicles to trucks and school buses, are abundant.”

As the world’s largest double deck bus builder, Alexander Dennis builds 2,300 buses per year by partnering with best-of-breed powertrain and technology providers to complement its bus building mastery. Foothill Transit was especially interested in ADI’s new electric double deck bus as a means for improving passenger density and driver efficiency in its fleet.

“The Alexander Dennis design and ride quality thoroughly impressed our most discerning customers during an extended demo through downtown Los Angeles last year,” said Doran Barnes, Executive Director at Foothill Transit. “As congestion intensifies across Southern California, every inch of road space matters, so increasing passenger occupancy while maintaining comfort and a singular bus footprint is a public transit solution we’re really excited to introduce.”

The new buses will service Foothill Transit’s Silver Streak Line which branches out to the east from Downtown Los Angeles, connecting travelers to and from the Inland Empire. Foothill is excited to be leading the charge into electric double deck buses as part of its journey to electrify its fleet by 2030. With an average 12-year life on transit buses, that translates to no more purchases of internal combustion buses.

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Kyle Field

I'm a tech geek passionately in search of actionable ways to reduce the negative impact my life has on the planet, save money and reduce stress. Live intentionally, make conscious decisions, love more, act responsibly, play. The more you know, the less you need. As an activist investor, Kyle owns long term holdings in Tesla, Lightning eMotors, Arcimoto, and SolarEdge.

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