Editor’s note: The more electric vehicles on the road, the better the environment for the wind industry. The bus is a good application of vehicle technology because of its stop-and-start operations lets it recapture energy when braking. And even if powered by a fuel cell , the hydrogen will likely be generated by electrolyzing water.
The EcoRide 35-foot, low-floor composite body transit bus is built upon a battery-electric vehicle architecture including key technologies that include:
- Our proprietary composite body reduces weight approximately 20-40% over a conventional steel or aluminum bus, is crash and element resistant and is designed specifically to accommodate the battery-electric drive technology.
- Our proprietary TerraVolt Energy Storage System can be charged in under 10 minutes. The cells are packaged in proprietary 23-volt modules along with our proprietary battery management system (8 modules per box) in a package that fits neatly within the composite floor structure in order to maintain a lower center of gravity and even weight distribution.
- Our ProDrive system is powered by a single UQM PowerPhase 150 permanent magnet (PM) motor with custom engineering for Proterra and is rated at 150 kW peak (100 kW continuous) power and generates 650 Nm of torque. The drive motor is coupled to a three-speed transmission designed to meet requirements of Proterra’s heavy-duty transit applications. The transmission allows the traction motor to operate within the 92% to 95% efficiency range for both driven and regenerative braking modes. While our EcoRide BE35 is a pure battery electric bus, its design allows for addition of auxiliary power units (APU) for recharging the energy storage system where vehicle routes or lack of electrical infrastructure does not make charging stations possible or desirable.
The EcoRide BE35 uses a fuel cell APU, but the design could just as easily accommodate a diesel, propane, CNG or gasoline generator. When a range extension APU is used, it serves as an on-board battery charger and only runs when needed and until the energy storage system reaches the desired state of charge resulting in significant gains in energy efficiency over competing designs.
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