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Innovating Heavy-Duty Electric Transportation from the Inside Out

Proterra has brought together top electric vehicle engineers and transportation leaders from companies like Tesla, Ford, Bluebird, GM, BMW and Daimler. Together we have one vision in mind:

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Clean, quiet transportation for all.

We started with the idea of building a zero-emission vehicle that could replace a standard diesel bus and reduce the transit industry’s dependency on fossil fuels. Today, our record-breaking electric bus is revolutionizing the transit industry. With 40+ million service miles to date, Proterraregistered vehicles have helped agencies avoid 180+ million pounds of CO2 emissions across the continent.

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Not only is Proterra building record-breaking electric transit buses, but we’re also partnering with other world class vehicle manufacturers to electrify school buses, commuter coaches, and more, extending our proven powertrain technology into other heavy-duty vehicle sectors.

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Who would have thought an electric bus would drive circles around any personal EV on the road?

At Proterra, we design and manufacture our own batteries in Silicon Valley. We build our buses around those batteries, using a lightweight composite bus body. Proterra buses are powered by our popular ProDrive drivetrain and the acceleration-boosting DuoPowertrademark drivetrain, which outperforms traditional combustion engine buses and propels buses effortlessly up hilly urban streets. We’ve innovated our own charging systems specifically for heavy-duty electric fleets, and have even collaborated with Michelin to design tires that reduce rolling resistance, increase load-capacity and leverage superior traction.

Put it all together and Proterra is breaking records–not just for heavy-duty vehicles, but commercial and personal EVs of all sizes. In 2017, our 40-foot Catalystregistered E2 max broke the world record in test track conditions for the longest distance ever traveled by an electric vehicle on a single charge – a whopping 1,101 miles.

Imagine that.

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Purpose-Built Vehicle Design

The best EVs on the road have been built with performance in mind.

A Proterra electric vehicle is built with safety, efficiency, acceleration, range, durability, and a smooth ride in mind.

Rather than retrofitting an existing metal bus, Proterra started the design from the ground up, literally. We placed our high-capacity battery packs beneath the floor between the two axles, allowing for greater safety and increased stability with a lower center of gravity.

Lightweight, Durable and Easy to Maintain

Taking cues from aviation, Proterra innovated a lightweight vehicle body composed of a carbon-fiber-reinforced composite material that’s impact- and corrosion-resistant. The highly durable design maximizes vehicle life while minimizing repairs and maintenance. The Proterra bus body is also much lighter than its steel counterparts, enabling more battery weight to be added for increased range, with up to 675 kWh of energy on board. A high power-to-weight ratio also contributes to the best acceleration in the transit bus market.

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Proterra Battery Systems:  Smart, Tough, Reliable

If it’s a Proterra vehicle, it’s a Proterra battery pack–designed by the best minds in EV engineering for heavy-duty transportation. This has been the key behind Proterra’s record-breaking range.

Proterra batteries are designed with safety top of mind. The most energy-dense in the business, by volume and mass, they’re made of tough, ballistic-grade materials that can withstand the challenges of heavy-duty transportation.

Proterra battery packs are smart, with sensors throughout them and active liquid cooling to keep them performing optimally all the time.  They also have a built-in proprietary management system that dynamically adjusts the energy reserve to maximize performance and range.  Now that’s pretty smart.

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Proterra Drivetrains:  Take A Power Trip

With Proterra, you don’t have to compromise on performance when you go electric.

In fact, our vehicles are out-performing combustion-engine buses, thanks to the DuoPowertrademark drivetrain featuring two electric motors. The Proterra ZX5 electric bus with DuoPower technology accelerates 1.5 times faster than a standard diesel bus, with nearly twice the horsepower.

The DuoPower drivetrain also helps achieve up to 25 miles per gallon equivalency (MPGe), making Proterra vehicles more than five times more fuel-efficient than diesel buses.

Proterra drivetrains can power an electric bus up a 29-percent grade hill, doubling the performance of the typical 35- or 40-foot diesel bus. Compared to the average electric bus on the market today, this is 100 percent better, making it an even better option for cities with steep hills and high-performance requirements.

With Proterra technology inside, you won’t just have zero-emissions. You’ll have a better performing vehicle.

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Proterra Chargers:  All Charging Systems Go

Because there were few reliable, high-power charging systems around designed strictly with heavy-duty electric fleets in mind, Proterra and Power Electronics worked in collaboration to design one specifically for commercial applications.

Transit customers need a robust solution for space-constrained depots, so Proterra and Power Electronics designed an industrial charging system that separates the dispenser from the power control system, with flexible options to charge with either an overhead or plug-in connector.

Our charging systems also take advantage of standardized connectors to enable interoperability, so they can also be used to charge other electric vehicles at your site.

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Proterra Telematics Software:  Real-Time Energy Management for Electric Fleets

Monitoring a battery-electric fleet is complex and requires capabilities that traditional vehicle telematics solutions don’t offer. So Proterra built a technology to solve that problem too.

The Proterra Valencetrademark connected vehicle intelligence system is a cloud-based data platform that allows fleet operators to monitor the performance of their vehicles and chargers and manage electricity demand with real-time updates and customizable reports and dashboards. This state-of-the-art technology helps fleet operators minimize energy consumption while keeping more battery-powered vehicles on the road.

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