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https://www.metro-magazine.com/zero-emissions/news/735161/

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Proterra to electrify other OEMs' heavy-duty vehicle offerings

Proterra has launched Proterra Powered™ vehicle electrification solutions, which leverages the company’s electric vehicle technology and expertise to help commercial vehicle manufacturers electrify their heavy-duty vehicles.

Proterra is already partnering with OEMs like Daimler, Van Hool, and Alexander Dennis to introduce 100% battery-electric vehicles that are powered by the company’s electric vehicle technology and provide clean, quiet transportation. Proterra and Thomas Built Buses, a leading manufacturer of school buses in North America and subsidiary of Daimler, have unveiled a new high-performance electric school bus, the Saf-T-Liner® C2 Jouley. Van Hool selected Proterra for its first all-electric motorcoach in the North American market.

 

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https://www.metro-magazine.com/zero-emissions/news/735811/mich-based-smart-ddot-to-buy-proterra-e-buses-chargers

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The Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART) and Detroit Department of Transportation (DDOT) have agreed to purchase electric buses and chargers from Proterra, becoming the 100th customer for the company. DTE Energy will work with DDOT, SMART and Proterra on the charging infrastructure.

 

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Electric Buses in America

Lessons from Cities Pioneering Clean Transportation
A report created by U.S. PIRG Education Fund, Environment America Research & Policy Center and Frontier Group
Written by Matt Casale, U.S. PIRG Education Fund, Morgan Folger, Environment America Research & Policy Center and James Horrox, Frontier Group
 
 
The report features 6 case studies of electric bus pilots: 4 successful, 1 fail and 1 mixed.
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Proterra has redesigned their website since I was there last. Lots of marketing in blog post format. Good info! This one about the composite bus bodies caught my eye. They are built in Rhode Island and at a wind turbine plant in Newton, Iowa.

As Electric Buses Scale, Composite Bus Production Adds To American Manufacturing Jobs

  • May 2, 2019

https://www.proterra.com/as-electric-buses-scale-composite-bus-production-adds-to-american-manufacturing-jobs/

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Proterra is powering an all-electric Van Hool CX45E!

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ABC Companies and Van Hool introduced the all-electric Van Hool CX45E motorcoach at Busworld in Belgium, which was the only model exclusively designed and built for the North American market on the show floor.

The zero-emission vehicle utilizes Proterra’s battery system, which features a compact, robust design enabling industry-leading energy density, by volume and mass. Efficient energy storage enables improved-range capabilities and thermally controlled batteries keep the temperature consistent to maximize lifetime in operating climates.

“‘Designed for the future, coming to America — January 2020’” — was the theme used to unveil the new bus, and ABC Companies is eager to present this innovative zero-emission model during UMA Expo 2020 in Nashville. Like the diesel-powered Van Hool CX45, the CX45E Electric bus will integrate a multitude of onboard technologies and passenger and driver amenities including a fully redesigned driver’s area.

ABC together with Van Hool and Proterra, will offer proprietary route modelling, which will take into consideration route-planning, the environment, and how each coach is routinely operated. Modeling and charging infrastructure analysis, utilizes data gleaned from route simulation — factoring in a host of variables such as, charging speed and consumption, hours of operation, charging points, power suppliers, and more to determine the right fit for each operation. Through the Proterra Energy™ fleet solutions offering, Proterra’s team of experts can evaluate a fleet’s daily power needs to determine the most fitting chargers to meet route requirements.

ABC also offers after-sale fleet maintenance support programs that are built around each owner’s individual fleet profile and needs. With flexible, scalable maintenance strategies tailored to support highly diverse fleet compositions, the company can service a full spectrum of equipment makes, models, and drivetrain platforms.

https://www.metro-magazine.com/zero-emissions/news/736149/abc-proterra-unveil-all-electric-van-hool-cx45e-motorcoach

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Everett Transit is going to add a couple more Proterra buses.

I've read a lot of articles about local transit agencies adding electric buses, but this one (from heraldnet.com) stands out for extra details. Highly recommended if you are interested in the reality of electric buses!

Source: https://www.heraldnet.com/news/everett-transit-set-to-expand-electric-buses-cut-fuel-costs/

"A fall protection system was needed so technicians can operate safely on the electric buses’ roofs, whereas other buses don’t need that access, Hingson said. Personal protective equipment was bought for the technicians so they could work with the high-voltage vehicles.

Bus operators receive two hours to familiarize themselves with the new buses."

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Proterra buses on the ground in Vermont:

Source: https://vermontbiz.com/news/2020/january/28/green-mountain-transit-bed-unveil-first-two-electric-buses

Miles on a Single Charge
The E-buses have 324 kWh of battery capacity and will be charged overnight during off-peak hours with 100 percent renewably-sourced electricity at GMT’s Burlington garage on Queen City Park Road. While Proterra indicates that the E-buses have an operating range of up to 187 miles on a single charge, actual range will depend on a number of variables, including topography, passenger loads, number of stops, and weather. Proterra’s initial range estimates for GMT, based upon our local topography and weather and on comparing the actual range of Proterra buses that are serving other similarly-situated locations, are 140 miles in non-winter months and 100 miles in winter months. GMT will have an accurate sense of mileage range once the new E-buses are in full operation in their service environment. 

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On 1/8/2020 at 8:39 PM, MAX BRT said:

"A fall protection system was needed so technicians can operate safely on the electric buses’ roofs, whereas other buses don’t need that access, Hingson said. Personal protective equipment was bought for the technicians so they could work with the high-voltage vehicles.

Bus operators receive two hours to familiarize themselves with the new buses."

Any transit agency that operates hybrid buses with rooftop mounted batteries and equipment already has necessary infrastructure in place to service electric buses.

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Does anyone think Proterra will be building a 60-footer any time soon?

......Does anyone wish Proterra would build one? (slowly raises hand)

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On 1/31/2020 at 11:04 PM, GojiMet86 said:

Does anyone think Proterra will be building a 60-footer any time soon?

......Does anyone wish Proterra would build one? (slowly raises hand)

I don't expect to see a 60-foot Proterra for a long time, if ever - that is a huge engineering expense for a company that is still relatively new and has a much smaller overall market share than New Flyer, NovaBus and Gillig.

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22 hours ago, RailBus63 said:

I don't expect to see a 60-foot Proterra for a long time, if ever - that is a huge engineering expense for a company that is still relatively new and has a much smaller overall market share than New Flyer, NovaBus and Gillig.

And with that long wheel base an articulated version would make turning pretty interesting. 

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10 hours ago, Someguy3071 said:

And with that long wheel base an articulated version would make turning pretty interesting. 

Not sure I quite understand your comment.  

All articulated transit buses are in that 60-foot range pertaining to length and many large public transit agencies have had them in their fleet for decades.  And after all, NFI is now producing a battery-electric articulated coach.  Seattle just got through with its testing and ordered a bunch of them.

For me, and most transit drivers, making turns in an artic is much easier than making the same turn driving a 40 to 45-footer.  The "pivot-point" is actually shorter in an artic as the turn is pivoting at the point of the center axle.  Although the total wheelbase of an artic spans a large distance, the actual focus as it pertains to turning characteristics is based on the "inter-axle spacing" of the section forward of the hinge.  That distance or sub-wheelbase is actually shorter than a 40-footer thus allowing an artic to make tighter turns which would be similar to turns a 30 or 35-foot coach might make.

The first artic I drove were the M.A.N. SG (220?) artics of the late 1970s, the first to be used in the U.S.  Those were a joint venture between A.M. General and M.A.N. and had the engine in the first section with the drive wheels on the middle axle.  The 310 coaches followed a bit later in the early 1980s and were such a  fantastic handling coach as they had a floating rear axle on the trailer section.  I think the 310 artic was the best handling bus I have ever driven  ...you could just "feel" the German engineering.  The last artic driven during my time as a bus driver was the NFI DE60LF that just felt cumbersome to drive compared to those old MANs.

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I wanted to add that there is a tradeoff between rear overhang and turning circle when deciding where the C axle goes. Push it far back, and your bus will need to make a wider turn, whereas if the C axle is pushed closer to the B, it'll turn tighter but the rear overhang may become a bit much. Simple example: Compare a Citaro G to an XD60. Heck even a semi truck too if you want. 

But of course, I defer to your pool of experience when it comes to them beasts. 

One thing I'm curious about is how drivers find a passively steered C axle (was it, on a 220?), and how big of a difference that makes (for those who have dabbled with that). 

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I'm aware how an articulated bus works. I'm driving a Nova artic right now. My point was that Proterra would have to rework their entire bus to make a shorter wheelbase between front and mid axles otherwise the bus will be a beast to turn. They use a 296 inches long wheelbase. 

And not all articulated buses have a shorter wheelbase between front and mid axles compared to 40 foot versions. Nova artic has exactly the same wheelbase of 244 inches as a 40 foot Nova bus. This results in a slightly larger turning radius of 44.5 feet for an Nova artic compared to 41 feet for 40 foot Nova.

New Flyer Excelsior artic has a 229 inches wheelbase between front and mid axles compared to 284 inches between front and rear for a 40 foot Excelsior. They have the same turning radius of 44 feet.

3 hours ago, Doppelkupplung said:

One thing I'm curious about is how drivers find a passively steered C axle (was it, on a 220?), and how big of a difference that makes (for those who have dabbled with that). 

Haven't driven one myself but seen them in action. Seems to work well. 

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Okay, my apologies Someguy3071.  I obviously misunderstood what you were saying.  I would think it obvious that they couldn't use the same wheelbase on an artic as they do on their 40-footer.  Seattle's recent order of NFI battery-electric coaches appear to have almost identical specs between the  40-footers and artics but they obviously --just as they do on their other 40-footers and artic coaches-- use different chassis configurations as it pertains to wheelbase. 

 

I should have prefaced my comments --and many here already know this-- by saying that I'm literally "just a dumb bus driver" as many bus riding patrons seem to label the majority of bus drivers.  I am not a serious student of bus history, have no understanding of engineering as it pertains to chassis design, do not have the cognitive capacity to understand mechanics and how things work, and --especially seeing as I'm now elderly-- have continually decreasing ability to retain new information and recall past experiences. 

As we all know, it doesn't take too much skill to actually drive a bus (albeit slightly more skill to drive the old trolleys and also the manual transmission buses that were prevalent when I first started).  The most difficult part of being a public bus driver is the ability to interact with the public.  Or I should say, the ability to SUCCESSFULLY interact with the public as it can be a challenge sometimes.  I still treasure the good experiences interacting with the public, however.

With all that said, yes, you do make some good points, Doppelkupplung.   I do acknowledge that there's a trade-off aspect between wheelbase and overhang  ...along with increasing/decreasing the approach and departure angles.  However, I didn't realize that there's that much latitude as it pertains to an articulated coach when considering axle placement.

I've never compared the axle placement between a Citaro G and a NFI artic.  That's interesting and you do have me thinking about it now.  

We all know that there's lots of different wheelbase lengths that are found on different manufacturer's non-artic coaches.   I didn't know that artics might have similar differences in wheelbase.  

One other thing that I've found that factors into how tight a turning radius a bus can be capable of doing is the steering angle specifications.  lf the steering angle is too narrow, it definitely will limit how tight a turn that can be made.  I've noticed that jumping into one manufacturer's bus to another.  

But no, for me, it was just a subjective thing when comparing the handling between the Sg220 and 310.  I'm not absolutely sure if it was mainly because of the axle design on the trailer as the suspension in front had slight differences too.  I do know that there was tremendous trailer swing on the 220s and many drivers ended up wiping out the right rear corner of the bus when pulling away from bus zones that had light poles and other fixed objects that were placed close to the curb.  The 310s had tapered corners at the rear in addition to the floating axle so there wasn't as much problem with rear swing by comparison  ...that taper made the entire bus seem or "feel" narrower for some strange reason.  That added to the sportier feel too when comparing the two models  --again, all subjective on my part. 

BTW, I'd love to drive a Citaro G  ...or any of that series Mercedes!

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23 hours ago, GojiMet86 said:

Noticed on this sheet that Proterra changed their first three VIN digits (1M9) to 7JZ. That gave me pause when I was looking up some of PANYNJ's Proterras. The VIN looked funny, but I guess it's official.

 

https://vpic.nhtsa.dot.gov/mid/home/displayfile/73a41851-e2d3-4a6f-b6dd-537c9c02329f

 

I too find that strange and interesting as I don't believe noticing any vehicle assembled in the U.S with a VIN other than a 1, 4, or 5 as the first digit/character.  "7" isn't normally used for a U.S. assembled vehicle.   No way could they have exhausted the assignment of designators following the "1M9"  ...could they?

Does anybody know of another U.S. assembled vehicle with anything other than 1, 4, or 5 as the first number and/or character of their VIN?

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