ANDERSON, Ind.—As municipalities and transit operators around the globe look to go green to reduce emissions and cut costs, a pair of American firms are hoping to electrify the bus market with a state-of-the-art battery-powered bus.
Called the “bus of tomorrow” by U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, bus maker Proterra and lithium-titanate battery manufacturer Altair Nanotechnologies showcased the Proterra EcoRide EV bus in Indiana in a bid to generate interest in the zero-emissions bus.
Currently running on public transportation systems in both Pomona, Calif., and San Antonio, Texas, the Proterra EcoRide boasts a quick-charging battery sytem that can see the people-mover run for approximately two-and-a-half hours after charging for less than 10 minutes.
“Altairnano’s fast-charge capability is an important part of what makes the Proterra bus such an innovative green solution for our country,” Proterra founder Dale Hill said in a statement.
According to Hill, the roof-mounted battery would only need to be replaced once during the 12-year life expectancy of a public transit bus.
While most bus batteries are heavy and require hours-long charging, the EcoRide’s battery is lightweight and charges quickly, making the Proterra bus a viable replacement for conventional diesel-powered buses, according to the companies.
“It’s thrilling to see the success of our collaboration with Proterra in action,” said Michael Canada, vice-president and general manager of U.S. operations for battery maker Altairnano.
Transit systems in Stockton, Calif., Tallahassee, Fla., Worcester, Mass., and Seneca, S.C., will be launching the buses in their respect fleets in 2013.