Production of Electric Bus Traveling Up To 350 Miles on Single Charge Spurred by Energy Commission

As electric vehicle technology advances so does the distance the vehicles can travel on a single charge.

Last week, electric bus maker Proterra announced it is bringing a bus line to market that can travel up to 350 miles on a single charge.

Proterra’s Catalyst E2 bus line means there will be a bus that can serve the full daily mileage needs of many U.S. transit routes.

A $3 million grant from the California Energy Commission spurred the production of the Catalyst E2, which has a storage capacity of between 440 to 660 kilowatt hours.

The 2015 grant came from the Energy Commission’s Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program, which provides up to $100 million annually for technology to reduce the state’s reliance on fossil fuels, curtail greenhouse gases and meet clean air standards. The grant helped fund the design, development, and construction of two new zero-emission, battery-electric transit bus manufacturing facilities - one in Burlingame and the other in the City of Industry.

“The Energy Commission is pleased to partner with Proterra as they develop and deploy all electric buses that will provide Californians a zero-emission transportation option,” said Energy Commissioner Janea A. Scott.

During the term of the grant, Proterra manufactured and sold more than 424 buses.

In the coming months, the company will begin manufacturing the Catalyst E2 to meet the growing demand for zero-emission mass transit buses. Sales of Proterra’s buses have been growing; this year sales of its buses are already 220 percent higher than sales in 2015, the company said.

“Proterra's announcement is yet another milestone in California's long push to electrify transportation and other services that use fossil fuels,” said Energy Commissioner David Hochschild.

Further greenhouse gases reductions will come as a result of the buses using power from the electric grid – with half of that power to come from renewable energy by 2030, Hochschild said.

The Catalyst buses are offered in two options. One is a fast charge technology option where buses can recharge in 10 minutes, with a nominal range of up to 62 miles between charges. An extended range option offers a nominal range of up to 194 miles per charge, recharging in roughly 75 minutes.

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California Energy Commission

The California Energy Commission is the state's primary energy policy and planning agency created by the Legislature in 1974.
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