Proterra Inc. is unique in that it designs and manufactures an electric bus’ complete system, including its own TerraVolt energy storage system which includes batteries, battery management system and integration system, FastFill rooftop rapid charging system, ProDrive drive system using a UQM PowerPhase 150 motor with three-speed gearbox, and a Continental VDO master control system with custom programming.
The Proterra EcoRide BE 35 is different than most battery drive vehicles where range is dictated by the number of batteries. The Ecoliner can operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week on routes outfitted with fast-charge stations. California’s Foothill Transit is the first agency in the world to deploy Proterra’s technology into heavy-duty transit operations. By 2030, FTA expects commercial availability of zero/near-zero emission, efficient and affordable transit vehicles from domestic suppliers. The Proterra EcoRide BE 35 meets or exceeds the proposed FTA 2030 electric-drive performance criteria today.
The key to this project is the utilization of the fast-charge battery. According to laboratory data, this battery retains its energy reserve and charging profile from 8,000 to 25,000 charge-discharge cycles and can be quick-charged from a 10 percent to a 95 percent charge in 10 minutes or less while the bus is at a layover. The Ecoliner battery utilizes lithium-titanate technology, which is laboratory tested at four to 10 times the usable charge-discharge cycles over conventional batteries and has a shelf life of up to 25 years.
Proterra is beginning to ramp up commercial production. A phase I production facility is already underway employing more than 100 people in Greenville, S.C. A second, state-of-the-art, production facility will begin construction in 2011 on campus at Clemson University's International Center for Automotive Research.
The EcoRide BE 35 offers zero emissions, potential for 90 percent reduction in fuel costs, significant noise reduction, lower maintenance costs and 90 percent regenerative braking energy recapture.
NextBus – NextBus
Used by more than 80 transit properties, including 30 colleges and universities, NextBus’ real-time passenger information systems provide services for city and county transit systems, resort shuttles, hospital and corporate campus shuttles, airport shuttles, and college and university transit systems. The largest transit properties in North America use NextBus, including Toronto (TTC), Boston (MBTA), San Francisco (SFMTA), Los Angeles (LACMTA) and Washington, D.C., (WMATA).
Passengers can access the systems through telephone IVR systems (including 5-1-1 systems), SMS text messaging, mobile smart phone apps, websites and electronic signage located at bus stops. NextBus even provides a publicly accessible XML data feed for use in third-party applications.
NextBus is a tremendous asset for operations, safety, risk and human resources managers. Its reports provide data on metrics such as schedule adherence, bus operator performance, headways and off-route vehicles allowing properties to ensure that any contracted transit service is provided as agreed.
Studies have shown that passenger satisfaction will be maintained, or even increase, in spite of service cuts as long as NextBus is provided to tell the passengers when those remaining buses will actually arrive. The property is able to make smart planning decisions using NextBus reports and AVL data, while preserving customer satisfaction.
The NextBus real-time passenger information system is just one component of a comprehensive Web-hosted transit ITS suite of products and services. NextBus also provides fully integrated automatic passenger counting systems, automated voice annunciation systems (NextStop), mobile data terminals, silent alarms, engine/vehicle telemetry, Wi-Fi hotspots and legacy hardware integration for existing fareboxes, headsigns and other smart bus technology.
NextBus helps transit properties provide exceptional service to their customers. Riders will always know when their bus will arrive. Transit managers will always know where their buses are and if they are operating properly. Truly a win-win situation for everyone involved.