In addition to manufacturing its own electric buses, Proterra licenses its powertrain technology under the brand name Proterra Powered. It has collaborated with OEMs such as Thomas Built Bus, Van Hool, Freightliner and Optimal Electric Vehicles to electrify their buses and other heavy-duty vehicles.
Proterra’s newest partner is Bustech, a major Australian bus manufacturer. The Queensland-based firm has announced plans to use Proterra’s battery technology platform in its new all-electric ZDi 12.5-meter transit bus.
The partnership represents Proterra’s first foray into the Australian market, and the new bus will be the company’s first Proterra Powered vehicle operating outside North America.
Bustech will incorporate Proterra’s battery technology into the ZDi’s integrated chassis systems. The battery system will feature 450 kWh of energy capacity, which will enable an estimated 325 km of range and a charging time of about two hours.
Proterra’s battery packs incorporate liquid cooling amd an active thermal management system. This is designed to ensure optimal charging and maximize battery life by maintaining a constant battery temperature, a must in Australia’s torrid climate. Proterra’s patented safety mechanisms include monitoring sensors throughout the battery pack, as well as passive propagation resistance, which isolates individual battery cells to prevent the spread of a thermal event.
Proterra will provide training and development support to strengthen Bustech’s in-country service network.
“Since I joined Bustech as CEO in January 2020 we have focused on creating a business and engineering environment which is ready for the adoption of the technology advancements that will drive our industry forward,” said Bustech CEO Thinus Steyn. “We have upskilled the group over the last six months with the capacity to bring the ZDi Proterra Powered electric vehicle to market in early 2021, and have a significant number of orders in the pipeline.”
“We have been really impressed with the battery technology from Proterra, with its energy density and inbuilt control system,” said Bustech CTO Gregg Dinning. “This will translate into a vehicle with unparalleled performance and safety. Our aim is to introduce product which is deployable into an operating network without having to remodel the full fleet or depot service model.”
“Our best-in-class battery technology platform has been proven in more than 13 million service miles driven by our fleet of battery-electric transit buses in the United States and Canada,” said Proterra CEO Jack Allen. “We look forward to delivering the benefits of Proterra Powered clean, quiet electric vehicles to even more people around the world.”