Canadian transit operator Edmonton Transit took delivery of the first 21 electric buses from Proterra this month from a total order of 40 electric buses for the year. The 21 buses will go into service in August, providing nearly silent, emissions free transit service to Edmonton residents.
Edmonton Transit is the first customer for Proterra’s new 40-foot Catalyst E2 Max electric buses in North America, boasting a staggering 660kWh of storage. The new buses are the first to utilize indoor overhead pantograph charging in North America for improved reliability. ETS leveraged Proterra’s Energy experts to spec out the charging system comprised of 26 of ABB’s 150kW overhead charging systems paired with seven of Proterra’s own 60 kW plug-in chargers in the maintenance area.
At the end of their shift, each driver parks in the assigned spot and starts charging at the flip of a switch. ETS tapped Proterra for its APEX Connected Vehicle Intelligence System software, which can then decide whether it is best to start charging the bus immediately, or wait for a better time. The tech-centric system puts visibility and control of charging schedule, costs, facility load balancing, and a host of telematics into the hands of ETS to most effectively run its business.
“From the start, we’ve been very intentional about how we’ve designed our electric bus program,” says Ryan Birch, Director of Transit Operations, ETS. “We’ve taken a unique approach to charging our buses inside transit facilities. This provides important redundancy that makes our electric bus fleet more reliable for transit customers, and will help us continue to modernize our transit system.”
These new electric buses represent a significant improvement over diesel buses due to their quiet electric powertrains and zero emissions, but that’s not all. Proterra’s Catalyst E2 Max buses sport the 510 horsepower DuoPower drivetrain that lays down nearly twice the horsepower of traditional diesel transit buses, while boasting five times better fuel efficiency. That’s an impressive combination that translates to a lower cost of operation and a respectable 0-20mph time of less than six seconds.
The extra power does not come at the expense of range, as the 660kWh of batteries spread across 6 packs on the bus provide an estimated range of 350 kilometers on Edmonton Transit Service’s routes. That’s more battery capacity than any other electric bus on the market today and translates to the bus holding the record for the longest distance traveled by any electric vehicle on a single charge.
“This is one of the most impressive end-to-end deployments of battery-electric transit buses we’ve seen in North America,” said Jack Allen, CEO of Proterra. “The ETS deployment showcases how to successfully implement an electric bus fleet and charging infrastructure for current fleet needs, as well as plan for expansion in the near future. We are proud to partner with ETS to deliver clean, quiet transportation to Edmonton.”