Public transportation could get a lot more environmentally friendly in the near future, thanks to a new electric bus that can travel approximately 560 km (350 miles) on a single charge.
North American manufacturer Proterra revealed its Catalyst E2 Series at the American Public Transit Association (APTA) Annual Meeting yesterday. The vehicle can store up to 660 kWh in what Proterra VP of Sales Matt Horton described to Wired as a "twin mattress-sized" battery pack.
According to a Proterra press release, that is enough to serve the daily mileage needs of almost every mass transit route in the U.S. on a single charge.
According to the APTA, just under 50 percent of U.S. public transit buses already use alternative fuel sources or hybrid technology, and with the Catalyst E2 Series expected to hit the streets in 2017, that percentage should continue to increase.
Those buses only account for 4 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, though, so perhaps even more important than getting more electric buses on the road is the potential to apply their battery technology to more significant sources of pollution, such as garbage trucks and semis, two targets of Tesla CEO Elon Musk's Master Plan, Part Deux.