Proterra electric bus sets electric vehicle range record

When we think of EVs setting driving range records, odds are you think about a small electric vehicle with a comparatively large battery crammed inside. Recently a new EV range record was set with a vehicle driving 1,101.2 miles on a single charge at low speed. The catch is that there is nothing small about the record setting EV.

The vehicle is a 40-foot long electric bus from Proterra. If you're wondering what qualifies as low speed, the bus reportedly traveled at 15 miles per hour. That is very slow, but in many congested urban cities where the bus is likely to operate, the speeds might not be much higher than that.

Proterra's bus broke the record previously held by a light-duty passenger vehicle that racked up 1,013 miles on a single charge. The big challenge for Proterra isn't in breaking EV distance records, but in getting cities, the typical buyers of large busses, to understand that despite a much higher price, electric buses are a viable option.

Proterra says that its typical bus runs about $750,000 per unit compared to the typical cost of about $500,000 for a diesel bus. The electric bus has lower operating costs, but at about a quarter of a million dollars more expensive the challenge is in convincing buyers the price is worth it.

Proterra chief commercial officer Matt Horton says that an electric bus is much lighter than an electric semi-truck with a full load. That means that the battery pack can be larger and heavier in the bus. The battery pack used by Proterra comes from LG Chem Ltd. in 201, Proterra sold 190 busses. The Proterra Catalyst XR bus we talked about back in 2015 had a 258 mile electric driving range.

SOURCE: Reuters