APTA Mobility 2019: Proterra and Michelin develop tires for battery-electric buses

May 22, 2019
The low rolling resistance tires have been designed for optimized use with battery-electric buses in urban environments.

Proterra and Michelin introduced attendees at the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) 2019 Mobility Conference to the new MICHELIN® X® InCity Energy Z tire, for use on Proterra’s battery-electric buses.  

Michelin and Proterra explain that the low rolling resistance tires help increase load-carry capacity and leverage traction, resulting in increased vehicle range and improved performance of electric buses.

“We are proud to collaborate with Proterra and put our innovating force behind advancing sustainable mobility,” said Adam Murphy, director of marketing, Michelin North America. “The development of this tire to support heavy-duty electric buses is in line with our long-standing commitments and ambitions to promote energy-efficient, low-emissions mobility solutions, particularly in cities.”  

The X InCity Energy Z tire incorporates Michelin Advanced Technology™ tread compounds designed to provide low rolling resistance technology in the tire, which Michelin explains will contribute to the maximum operational range between charges for Proterra® buses.

In addition to enabling greater range, the X InCity Energy Z tire is designed to withstand tough urban transit conditions and has robust bead architecture to ensure durability in demanding stop/start service. The tire uses 3D Matrix™ sipe technologies to provide biting edges for traction in wet and slippery conditions. Michelin notes that with this technology, the X InCity Energy Z is optimized for all-season weather and driving conditions, and is certified 3PMSF (“three-peak mountain snowflake”) and M+S (“mud and snow”), which meets the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association snow-traction performance requirements and the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada requirements for severe snow traction.

Proterra says that ensuring its transit buses utilize the best tires is another essential component to further maximize the performance of the its Catalyst buses and the X InCity Energy Z tire for electric bus configuration will be the standard tire offered for the Proterra Catalyst vehicles.

“At Proterra, innovation is the core of our culture. High-performing electric vehicles combine powerful battery technology with extremely efficient vehicles,” said Proterra CEO Ryan Popple. “We are a leader in the electric bus industry in battery technology but we’re also innovating to improve the efficient use of that stored energy. We were proud to introduce the first purpose-built, lightweight bus chassis to this industry, and we’re similarly excited to partner with a global leader like Michelin to bring the X InCity Energy Z tire to this market.” 

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Editor in Chief

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the magazine’s editorial direction and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.