The EcoRide BE-35 is a lightweight, composite body transit bus with battery-electric drive that offers a 600 percent fuel efficiency as compared to a typical diesel bus. A test fleet is currently in operation near Pomona, California, and other tests are being planned for San Antonio TX and Tallahassee FL later this year as the company seeks federal validation in order to begin large scale production.
Although buses are an efficient way of moving numbers of people, a typical diesel bus only gets less than 4 miles per gallon (but that makes it equivalent to 40 passenger miles per gallon if there are 10 riders on the bus). Hybrids increase the efficiency to about 4.5 miles per gallon, which can be significant for a transit authority's operations, but is still not a drastic improvement. The EcoRide, however, gets the equivalent of 24 miles per gallon by running solely on electricity.
Power storage for these buses is in lithium-titanite battery packs with a capacity of 54 to 72 kWh. The EcoRide buses have a 40 mile range, and can be recharged in just 10 minutes using a roof mounted system called FastFill that was also developed by the company. While the EcoRide doesn't have the range for a typical full day of operation (generally 80 to 100 miles), its ability to quickly recharge could make that less of an issue.
GM Ventures, the investment and development arm of General Motors, has just invested $6 million with Proterra for continued development of the EcoRide. Whether GM will seek a larger stake in the company, or seek to incorporate Proterra's technology into its own systems remains to be seen.
via: GM Press Release
written by Datd00d, June 16, 2011
written by Anon, June 17, 2011
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