Going the Distance

When California-based automaker Proterra took one of their all-electric Catalyst E2 Max busses to the Navistar Proving Grounds in Indiana, the vehicle managed to cover 1,772.2 kilometers (1,101.2 miles) before its battery pack ran out of power, breaking the record for the longest distance travelled by an electric vehicle on a single charge.

The 40-foot bus was outfitted with a 660 kWh battery pack for the trial — the equivalent of 11 Chevy Bolts — and according to the company, it could be back at full capacity in just an hour using Proterra's high-speed charging system.

The previous record for distance on a single charge was set by the Schluckspecht E, an experimental electric vehicle.

"For our heavy-duty electric bus to break the previous world record of 1,013.76 miles, which was set by a light-duty passenger EV 46 times lighter than the Catalyst E2 max, is a major feat," Proterra’s chief commercial officer Matt Horton said in a news release. "This record achievement is a testament to Proterra’s purpose-built electric bus design, energy-dense batteries, and efficient drivetrain.”

Starting Line

While cars have been a major point of emphasis when it comes to electric vehicles, all kinds of transportation are being modified to remove their reliance on fossil fuels.

Electric semi trucks have the potential to revolutionize the haulage industry, the U.K. postal service is already using electric vans, and the world's first all-electric luxury yacht was just unveiled earlier this month.

The effect these electric vehicles could have on the environment is well-documented. However, the technology also provides other distinct advantages over traditional options.

Electric buses offer up a lower cost-per-mile than their gas-powered equivalents, and electric drive chains have fewer moving parts, which should mean that repairs are less frequent and maintenance costs are reduced. Companies like Proterra no doubt hope these benefits will lead to their rapid adoption.

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