Electric bus maker Proterra announced that the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART) and Detroit Department of Transportation (DDOT) have agreed to purchase electric buses and chargers from Proterra, becoming the 100th customer for the company.
DTE Energy will work with DDOT, SMART and Proterra on the charging infrastructure. To date Proterra has sold more than 800 buses across 41 U.S. states and Canadian provinces and delivered more than 390 battery-electric buses. Proterra vehicles on the road have also achieved nearly ten million miles of service across North America.
DDOT will receive two 40-foot Proterra Catalyst® E2 Max buses, two Proterra® 125 kW plug-in chargers and one 500 kW overhead fast-charge system. SMART will receive four 40-foot Proterra Catalyst® E2 buses with DuoPower™ drivetrain technology, four Proterra® 125 kW plug-in chargers and one 500 kW overhead fast-charge system. DDOT and SMART provide high-quality, safe and cost-effective public transit to the southeast Michigan region.
DDOT is the largest public transit agency in Michigan providing service to the city of Detroit and neighboring cities and SMART operates primarily in suburban areas. SMART and DDOT were awarded $2.6 million through the Low- or No-Emission Vehicle (Low-No) Program from the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration for the electric buses and charging systems. The Proterra electric buses are the first electric buses for both organizations and the Proterra vehicles will replace aging diesel buses.
“SMART has long been interested in adding alternative fuel buses to our fleet, and the all-electric bus project is a big step into the future for transit in southeast Michigan.” said John C. Hertel, General Manager, SMART. “Battery-electric buses not only help us meet our sustainability goals, but provide a better rider experience while delivering cost savings.”
“Electric buses are a great addition to our fleet and sustainability initiatives that will continue to improve the transit experience for our communities,” said Angelica Jones, Interim Director of DDOT. “It is a great example between the public, private sector and DTE to bring clean and efficient transportation to metro Detroit.”
DTE Energy will work with SMART, DDOT and Proterra to provide the utility infrastructure necessary for charging the buses while on-route and at the respective terminals. Proterra and DTE Energy also recently announced a project to provide battery-electric school buses to Michigan schools for pupil transportation and to conduct a vehicle-to-grid pilot program.
“We’re excited to once again be working with Proterra to deliver the benefits of electric vehicle technology to Michigan,” said Sean Gouda, manager of DTE’s Electrification Business Development. “DTE Energy is a leader in clean energy initiatives, and we see transportation as a great opportunity to grow our sustainability efforts throughout the state. We commend DDOT and SMART for expanding clean transportation options in our region.”
Proterra has consistently advanced electric vehicle technology to tackle the needs of transit agencies across North America. One of the most impressive features of a Proterra battery-electric bus is the drivetrain and propulsion system that enable fuel economies of up to 25 MPGe, compared to conventional combustion engines that typically only get about 3.6 MPG. In addition to excellent fuel economy, Proterra battery-electric buses have eliminated range anxiety by engineering a bus that can hold up to 660 kWh of battery capacity and reach up to 328 miles of operating range.
In addition to battery-electric buses, Proterra provides purpose-built high-power charging systems for heavy duty EV fleets. All charging systems utilize standardized technology so customers could charge a range of electric vehicles on the same Proterra charger. In addition to the charging hardware, Proterra offers a full suite of options to enable turn-key delivery of a complete energy ecosystem for heavy-duty electric fleets including design, build, financing, operations, maintenance and energy optimization with Proterra Energy™ fleet solutions.
“Proterra has reached an incredible milestone of bringing clean, quiet transportation to 100 customers across North America,” said Proterra CEO Ryan Popple. “From the vehicle design and battery technology to heavy-duty charging systems and energy solutions, Proterra has been a pioneer in electrifying the transit industry. More than any other form of transportation, battery-electric buses are the cornerstone in addressing the future of mobility and sustainability for cities, and we believe the most exciting EV developments are happening in the North American electric bus industry.”