Proterra E-Buses Have Cut Out 100M Lbs. of Carbon Emissions

Electric transit buses built by Proterra have displaced more than 100 million pounds of carbon emissions, helping to address the largest source of these emissions in the U.S.

Transportation is a primary generator of greenhouse gas emissions, including carbon dioxide (CO2). According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), transportation accounted for 29% of all greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. in 2019 — more than any other economic sector. Transportation also represented the largest source of carbon emissions, accounting for nearly 35% of all CO2 emissions in the U.S.

Electric vehicles like the best-selling Proterra® ZX5 electric bus provide a solution for decreasing transportation-produced emissions, running on battery power instead of traditional fossil fuels like gas or diesel. With zero tailpipe emissions, Proterra’s fleet of purpose-built e-buses reduces the amount of harmful greenhouse gases generated by heavy-duty vehicles on the road.

In fact, electric buses charged on the electric grid have produced up to 87% less per-mile lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions when compared to their diesel counterparts, according to a report by the Union of Concerned Scientists released in 2019. Even in cities dependent on conventional power plants, electric buses still produce less than half of the pollution of diesel or natural gas buses on average, the UCS noted in a 2018 study.

Every year a Proterra electric bus operates in place of a diesel bus, it displaces 230,000+ pounds of CO2 that the diesel bus would have emitted if it were clocking that mileage instead, based on the CommercialFleet Carbon Footprint Calculator. With more than 700 buses in operation and more than 20 million miles driven, Proterra’s electric fleet has displaced more than 100 million pounds of carbon emissions along the way.

To put that figure into perspective, 100 million pounds of carbon emissions is equivalent to nearly 114 million miles driven by a passenger vehicle, more than five million gallons of gasoline consumed, or more than 50 million pounds of coal burned, according to the EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator. Based on these numbers, it would take 750,025 tree seedlings grown for 10 years to sequester the amount of carbon that Proterra has displaced via its e-bus fleet.

“Proterra technology does more than help improve our environment: it provides communities with healthier air for everyone — especially in areas most negatively impacted by higher levels of harmful emissions,” said President of Proterra Transit Josh Ensign.

As cities from Seattle, Washington, to Miami, Florida, transition to zero-emission, electric transit buses with Proterra, they take a significant step towards reducing transportation-produced emissions in the 40+ U.S. states and Canadian provinces where they operate.

For many of these states, reducing emissions substantially has become a formal goal. According to the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, 25 U.S. states and districts have established greenhouse gas emissions targets as of early 2021.

For example, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan set a statewide goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. Following suit, Blue Water Area Transit (BWAT) became the first public transit agency in Michigan to add battery-electric buses to its fleet in July 2021.

“It’s going to be better for the environment and the community,” Dave McElroy, general manager at Blue Water Area Transit (BWAT), told The Keel about his agency’s transition to Proterra electric buses.

In addition to making its own transit buses, Proterra is also working with commercial vehicle manufacturers around the world to electrify vehicles such as school buses, shuttle buses, cargo vans, construction equipment, and more.

All Proterra-powered vehicles share one important factor in common: they run on Proterra’s industry-leading battery technology, helping to reduce emissions across the U.S. and the globe.