Californian company's electric bus claims setting world record for single charge range

Updated 2017-09-20 10:00:53 Xinhua

Proterra, an electric-bus maker based in southern California, announced Tuesday that it set a world record for driving the longest distance ever travelled by an electric vehicle on a single charge.

According to the press release issued by the company, its 40-foot (12.2 meters) Catalyst E2 bus max travelled 1,101.2 miles (1,861 kilometers) at the Navistar Proving Grounds in New Carlisle of Indiana this month with 660 kwh of energy storage capacity.

The company hailed this year's world record range marked its exceptional performance improvements over prior years and underscored the commitment to innovation and accelerating the mass adoption of heavy-duty electric vehicles.

Matt Horton, Proterra's chief commercial officer, was quoted as saying that since the previous world record of 1,013.76 miles (1,713 kilometers) was set by a car 46 times lighter than the Catalyst E2 max, so the "achievement is a testament to Proterra's purpose-built electric bus design, energy-dense batteries and efficient drivetrain."

However, the Green Car Report website commented that the principle Proterra used to set the new world record just is "higher energy capacity in a battery allows a vehicle to travel further."

Proterra, sold out 190 electric buses last year, set similar records before, covering 603 miles (1,061 kilometers) last September in a bus equipped with a 440-kwh battery and 258 miles (436 kilometers) in 2015 using a battery of 257 kwh.

The battery in the record-setting Proterra Catalyst E2 Max bus held 11 times the energy capacity contained in the 60-kwh battery of a 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV electric car, which hold the previous record.

The largest battery pack in any volume electric car sold today is 100 kwh in top-end versions of the Tesla Model S hatchback sedan and Model X crossover utility vehicle.

The Chinese leading electric bus builder and the world's largest manufacturer of rechargeable batteries BYD, which has a factory in Lancaster of California and is undergoing to increase it's yearly production capacity in the United States from 350 to 1,500 vehicles, welcomed Proterra's effort to improve performance of the electric medium- and heavy-duty vehicle.

Chao Xue, Manager of contract administration and project management of BYD, told Xinhua Tuesday that Proterra's new record demonstrated to public that 1000 plus miles of range can be easily achieved by today's electric vehicle technology under controlled environment and few consideration of real world application.

"Range is no longer the bottleneck, as BYD buses in most of the cases, have more than enough range to cover a full day service," he said, "Instead, efficiency, cost, service life will be the new direction of the industry. They are the indicators of the overall implementation of all key systems like BMS, investors, driver motors and controllers."

He said BYD is in leading position on all three aspect mentioned and the company had seen a 50 percent plus increase in capacity for the type of battery cells use on its vehicles in the past few years.

"we're proud to be creating jobs, cleaning the air, and developing groundbreaking new bus and truck technologies that, most importantly, deliver on what we promise," he added.

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