Surpassing Tesla? Startup Proterra Introduces Electric Bus That Can Travel 350 Miles Before Recharging

When Tesla announced its P100D last month, it became an instant celebrity. This is because the electric car can travel up to 300 miles. However, startup Proterra surpassed Tesla's distance by launching its new electric bus that can travel 350 miles on a single charge.

Proterra, the leading innovator in heavy-duty electric transportation, has launched its new line of zero-emission vehicles during the American Public Transit Association's annual meeting held this week. The Catalyst E2 series that has a range of 194 to 350 miles, can serve any mass transit route in the U.S. on a single charge. This means that the bus can travel on the streets for up to 18 hours non-stop.

The Catalyst E2, when fully charged, can run for more than 600 miles, according to the company's vehicle testing in August.

Scheduled to hit the roads next year, the new E2 buses are powered by two gargantuan batteries. These mattress-sized batteries can store up to 440 to 660 kWh. It's a promising investment but may cost companies that are interested about $799,000, two times more expensive than a regular diesel bus.

"TARC now has the largest deployment of Proterra battery-electric buses east of the Mississippi. Providing both environmental benefits and cost savings, these buses are a symbol of Louisville's sustainability efforts," Barry Barker, Executive Director of Transit Authority of River City (TARC), said in a statement.

"We are proud of these positive impacts and to call Proterra a partner, as they pass this key milestone in their journey as the foremost transport innovator in the world," he added.

Since 2004, Proterra, which is based in Silicon Valley, has invested its efforts and resources in finding ways to make buses travel without using diesel. Diesel is a liquid fuel known to emit chemicals that pollute the air such as particulate matter (PM), nitrogen oxides (NOx), unburned hydrocarbons (HC) and carbon monoxide (CM).

"The question is no longer who will be an early adopter of this technology, but rather who will be the last to commit to a future of clean, efficient, and sustainable mobility," said Proterra CEO Ryan Popple.

"With the Catalyst E2 offering a no-compromise replacement for all fossil fuel buses, battery-electric vehicles have now broken down the final barrier to widespread market adoption," he added. 

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