Electric vehicles still suffer from a few major drawbacks. First of all, they need to be recharged on a regular basis in order to cover long distances. Secondly, they are not necessarily all that fast. A recent experiment by Proterra showed that a heavy-duty battery electric bus could drive 1,102.2 miles on a single charge. This is a major development in the area of electric vehicles.
A New Electric Vehicle Range Record
A lot of companies are trying to make an impact in the electric vehicle industry right now. Though most of their efforts still focus on cars, we are seeing a growing interest in trucks, buses, and even watercraft. It is too early to tell how all of these ventures will play out, as we are still in the very early days of electric vehicles. Whenever a major breakthrough is made, however, it should not be ignored.
According to an official press release from Proterra, such a breakthrough was made a few days ago. The company is known for its strong focus on heavy-duty electric transportation. Its team was interested in seeing how far they could drive an electric bus using just one charge. Considering that such a vehicle requires a lot more energy than the everyday car, one might have predicted substandard results. The company’s recent test showed that was not the case.
Proterra’s bus set a record for driving the longest distance as an electric vehicle on a single charge. The 40-foot Catalyst E2 max traveled a distance of 1,101.2 miles while using a battery capable of storing 660 kWh. This test was conducted on the Navistar Proving Grounds in New Carlisle, Indiana. Proterra has been improving its battery performance and distances traveled for several years in a row now. Just last year, its performance was 603 miles using 440 KwH of energy storage.
The company has made significant progress over the past year. Its bus almost doubled the distance traveled while only increasing the energy storage capacity by 50%. That in itself is a pretty big development which will send some shockwaves throughout the electric vehicle industry as a whole. The previous world record sat at 1,013.76 miles, which was beaten quite easily. That record was set using a passenger vehicle weighing 46 times less than the Catalyst E2 max.
Although covering more distance is only one aspect of electric vehicles which people need to take into consideration, the progress made cannot be denied. While not everyone will use electric buses anytime soon, it is good to know they can charge up and cover a fair amount of distance without too many issues. This new record shows there are viable, low-cost solutions out there compared to fossil fuel. Whether or not we will see industry-wide adoption of electric buses in our lifetime remains to be seen.
Proterra is not a company focusing on consumer-grade vehicles by any means. However, if it can show this amount of progress over the span of twelve months, imagine how much things can improve when dealing with regular cars and vans. If these vehicles can cover more ground while requiring smaller battery capacity upgrades, a bright future lies ahead. For now, it remains to be seen how the consumer-grade electric vehicle industry will evolve. Major progress is being made in front of our own eyes.