We talk a lot about consumer cars, which is fine because that’s what we’re all looking at. But sometimes it’s nice to see what type of technology is powering our transportation on a bigger level. Public transportation has its fair share of detractors, but that doesn’t mean that this is something that you should avoid. Not everyone can afford to operate a car. The true cost of ownership for a vehicle may be a lot more than you think. Why? You have to add up all of the expenses that are involved with owning and operating that car, form the purchase all the way to handling fuel and repairs. Insurance is another expense that has to be calculated. Did you know that your insurance can go up every year based on a wide variety of variables? If the insurance company feels that your area has gotten more dangerous, they could raise your rates just on that alone.
But let’s get back to the fully electric bus, the topic of today’s article. We think that getting off a fuel dependency is a good thing, especially when that fuel is petroleum-based.
Ryan Popple is formerly of Tesla Motors, a company already well known around the world for electric vehicles. But Popple is stepping away from consumer EVs and looking at a fully electric bus. The specs so far are incredible: 200 miles on a single charge, and a full recharge in roughly ten minutes. The 0-20mph acceleration measure is incredible, outpacing many electric sedans despite being forty feet long.
The company behind Popple is called Proterra, and they’re focused on building the best electric bus possible. The current model is considered to be one of the lightest in its class, without sacrificing the performance of a heavier transportation vehicle. The company was founded by Dale Hill, who innovated with buses first before looking at other vehicle classes. The bus is still one of the core vehicles in their arsenal to this day.
Proterra has plenty of competition, even if it’s not Tesla right now: global firms are looking at how to bring the electric technology to fruition without having to use biodiesel as a fallback.
What’s exceptional about Proterra is that the buses are connected to wireless charging stations at specified stops. This lets passengers unload and come on the bus without having to pause for recharging aside from the stop. The buses are making their way across the US, from LA and Seattle to Lexington (KY) and Dallas, TX.
There are other pitfalls looming, despite the electric bus’s promise. For starters, the traditional diesel-eater is cheaper, because the battery powering the all electric bus is still expensive. But the battery packs are indeed falling in expense, which increases the overall appeal. We think that even if the diesel type is cheaper, the all electric is still more appealing. Remember that cities have to look long term in terms of investments. Betting on all electric technology is a wise move that will pay off handsomely for many cities.