Proterra’s electric bus drives 1800km (1100 miles) on a single charge.

Proterra’s electric bus drives 1800km (1100 miles) on a single charge.

Electric buses are now cheaper than diesel buses, and is expected to dominate the market within 10 years.

24 thoughts on “Proterra’s electric bus drives 1800km (1100 miles) on a single charge.

  1. Travelling how fast? That looks like roughly 40 m in 4 seconds, timing the video segment showing lane striping segments of ~10m or so long (about the length of the bus), or about 36 kph (~22 mph).

    Keep in mind that a slow constant speed is pretty efficient. For a city bus, it’s starts and stops that kill battery. For highway travel (100 kph+), it’s speed.

    Impressive, yes, but I’d really like to see the test conditions specced.

  2. Of course it was a provocation.
    It’s just because I hate such vehicules : those are nuclear ones, generating tons of nuclear waste. Perhaps they emit less CO² (never no CO² : rolling on a road still generates more CO² than you think) but some nuclear waste is dangerous over 100,000 years long.

  3. Lars Fosdal see Uranium based power plants vs Thorium based ones. Ask yourself why we use the most pollutant one (answ: the only one allowed to produce nuclear bombs). Then, ask yourself if nuclear industry is ready to stop activity or change paradigm.
    Ask your president about his decision to exit the Paris climate accord.
    Next, tell me about Trump administration plan to repeal Obama’s landmark 2015 rule setting standards for hydraulic fracturing on federal land.
    Sorry, Lars Fosdal, I don’t think we’re ready to a realy green power production/consumption, in fact I’m not sure we are’nt ready to save our world, and perhaps it’s now too late. See Trump’s attitude after uricane : Why disturbing me to play golf for such a shit ?

  4. Lars Fosdal Wave power, and most tidal power, are pipe dreams. Total energy density and O&M costs are simply too high.

    Solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, modest amounts of biomass, and perhaps even some nuclear (I’m not generally a fan, but there are some arguments for it) seem to be our allotment.

  5. Edward Morbius Ref. speed – that was not really surprising.

    Ref Wave-power – This was in the Norwegian news yesterday.
    Google Translate really screws with some of the namings, but I think you get the drift.

    The first sea wave power plant has been connected to the grid.
    It won’t be a huge producer, as this is a test to see of it can handle rough sea – but it has some potential. The previous attempts has indeed had major operating costs (and failures).
    . – Google Translate

  6. Lars Fosdal The energy is simply too dispersed. If you think about it, wave power is third-generation solar: solar thermal effects generate wind which drive waves. You’re starting with a 1 kW/m^2 flux and degrading it from there.

    Wind power is effective, where it is concentrated, because of that concentration — there are specific regions on Earth where even a second-order energy flux can be viably used. But outside those areas, the viability falls pretty sharply.

    There’s also been a lot of progress on low-speed wind energy — I’ve seen a post in the past few days on G+, not sure if it was you or others, on this. Large and high towers also help. The problem of fossil-derived contributions to wind infrastructure, particularly in concrete and steel manufacture, are a poorly-accounted cost.

  7. Edward Morbius – The advantage of wave and wind is that it works at night as well. Naturally, wave power will only be useful in coastal regions. Since Norway has a lot of coast – I guess it is natural that we explore that direction. I saw another article highlighting that British off-shore windmill power, now is cheaper per Wh than their nuclear power.

  8. Lars Fosdal Geothermal, wind, and hydro, as well as biomass and other forms of energy storage, also work at night. Tidal impoundments can work at night.

    And all offer far higher energy densities, and far lower O&M costs, than wave energy.

    Tom “Do the Math” Murphy of UC San Diego has done analysis of pretty much every renewable (or long-term) energy option. Solar, wind, hydro, and (in some places) geo, plus biomass (solar-derived) are pretty much what’s in the bag.

    You might also want to look at the late David Mackay’s “Without the Hot Air” which does a UK-centric analysis.

  9. Edward Morbius From do the math: “Using my 35 kW/m number for a global calculation, I will make the crude estimate that there is enough coastline to circle the globe twice—considering that not all coastline faces the prevailing swell and is therefore penalized. Whatever. This makes for 80,000 km of coastline, delivering 2.8 TW—or about 20% of global demand, if fully developed.”

    20% of global demand, seems worthwhile, doesn’t it?

  10. Lars Fosdal And all you have to do is create a powerplant 50,000 miles long.

    (80,000 km, if you’re into sane units.)

    I hope that there’s not just one entry/exit gate.

    For comparison, one of the more prolific oil wells in history is the First Oil Well of Bahrain, which produced up to 70,000 barrels of oil per day. In terms of energy content, that’s about 5 GW.

    From a 20 cm wide hole in the ground.

    Another good reference on energy matters is Vaclav Smil. His description of oil wells and fossil energy sources is that they are “punctiform”. Essentially geometric points on Earth from which an immense energy wealth spews.

    Or look at total solar flux: it’s about 7,000x present human energy consumption, distributed over the planet.

    But that’s the problem: it’s distributed all over the planet. If you start sorting out what a reasonalble fraction of that energy which might be utilisable would be, you end up with … not a whole lot more than what we’re presently using, and that’s still with some generous estimates. People need to eat (farmland, in direct competition with solar power), there’s got to be some natural habitat, there are spacing and efficiency factors, etc, etc.

    Put another way: start adding up all the land area devoted to present energy consumption, and realise that this is with some of the most concentrated fuel sources possible (at least by chemical means). – First Oil Well, Bahrain – Wikipedia

  11. The capacity estimate for the fully developed Norwegian wave plant is 2TWh, or about 80.000 households. It’s not much, but it is a start – and that is just one site. Even if wave power won’t cover more than 10% of the demand – it would still be a useful addition. Every drop counts, so to speak.

    We have been blessed with lots of mountains, and most of our power is hydro-electric. We have some wind power, but far from the potentials – especially with the new low wind solutions looking promising.

    The best thing is that businesses are starting to realize that there IS a life after oil, and that there still is new land (or sea) to explore there. Even apparent dead ends are worth exploring, simply to learn.

    F.x. Sea cable power transmission is switching from AC to DC for less loss over distance do to findings from wave power research.

    Electrification is really growing. We now also have an electric ferry that does wireless charging. – Google Translate

  12. Another electrification that clearly is niche, but shows that people really are thinking differently now.

    A 45 ton dumper, that can add a load of 65 ton can be electrified? Yes, since it will charge itself going downhill with the load. I.e. not so useful for hauling stuff out of a pit, as down from a mountain.

    It will actually generate a 10kWh surplus on the downtrip – instead of burning between 50k and 100k liters of diesel per year. – Empa – 604 – Communication – e-dumper

  13. Serge GODEC Germany will stop using nuclear power plants in a few years (which I personally think was a stupid decision, we should have stopped using coal instead). We already have more renewable energy than we can use on some days and there is still lots of potential. The major problem to solve is storage.

  14. Lars Fosdal Right, that’s basically a gravity-storage-device on wheels. It’s more an exploitation of the fact that moving stone down a mountain can provide useful energy, rather than waste it in heating brake pads.

    The gravitational potential energy of the downhill trip pays for the unloaded return. Plus gives the capacity to traverse short flat or uphill sections on the downhill run.

    You might be able to use similar capabilities for other cases in which the laden portion of a voyage is characterised by generally down-hill travel, say, lumber trucks. Though I suspect the length of the run also matters — here the total trip is short so the required energy-banking capacity (battery size) is modest.

    A similar “elevation hacking” was performed by Solar Impulse, the solar-powered airplane. The real story there was in both materials (very light design) and incidental energy storage. The vertical flight profile of the Solar Impulse accounted for the bulk of its energy store. It would climb in altitude over the course of the day, then descend after nightfall. Only after it had reached its minimum elevation would the batteries kick in.

    Since battery storage == weight, the more energy storage was attained in altitude, the less had to be provided with battery.

    It works, yes. But it’s not exactly “solving the problem via battery storage” either. (It’s still really hard to turn up this information, as I discovered trying to find a plot showing the energy, battery, and elevation relationships over time — this isn’t the story that was presented, for the most part, to the public, but it’s the key to the project’s success.)

  15. An engineering breakdown of Solar Impulse, largely making the points I’ve addressed above: – Solar Impulse Engineered a Plane that Flew 4,500 Miles with No Fuel and No Stops >

    During daytime flight, Solar Impulse collects more energy than it needs, and stores it in two ways. The first way is in the form of potential energy. The aircraft climbs to an altitude of up to 28,000 ft. during the day, and then glides down to as low as 4,000 ft. overnight. The following chart depicts the flight from Japan to Hawaii. The second way the team stored the collected solar energy was with four Lithium polymer batteries mounted underwing…. [Lightweighting] An empty Boeing 747 can weigh in at 670,000 lbs at take-off. Solar Impulse weighs only around 5,000 lbs. It has a similar wingspan, yet weighs less than 1/100th as much. The team accomplished this lightweightingdespite having to lug around four large batteries which together weigh over 1,250 lbs, more than 25% of the aircraft’s total weight.

    The article also specifically highlights:

    Solar Energy is Not the Future of Flight

    The Solar Impulse project’s aim is to highlight the potential uses for solar energy, rather than demonstrating a new future for aviation. Solar still suffers too many constraints to make it a competitive power source for commercial aircraft. The obvious shortcomings include that the aircraft holds only one person, the pilot, and flies far too slowly for realistic long distance travel.

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