• 8
The Pennsylvania Transportation Institute at Penn State just had the chance to put the Proterra electric bus through some fuel economy tests in Altoona, PA and it was there that the Altairnano-powered people mover generated some head-turning miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) numbers. After going through three different duty cycles, the worst result returned was 17.55 MPGe, while the best was 29.23 MPGe, earned during the "commuter" phase which featured just one stop and speeds of up to 40 mph. The "central business district" phase which included 7 stops per mile and speeds of up to 20 mph gave an impressive result of 21.35 MPGe. The performance is even more amazing when you consider that the tests were performed at a gross vehicle weight of 36,680 lbs which simulated a full complement of 38 seated passengers, another 34 standing and, of course, a driver.

How does that compare with buses in service today? According to Proterra president Jeff Granato, "The test validated that Proterra's 35-foot transit bus achieves up to 400 percent better performance than today's conventional diesel or competitor's hybrid transit buses." The results, combined with the ability to conveniently fast-charge the battery, make for a bus that's efficient, effective and, at the street level at least, emissions free. Hit the jump for a video of some battery bus riding action and a press release with more details.

[Source: UQM Technologies]



FREDERICK, COLORADO, MAY 5, 2009 ... UQM TECHNOLOGIES, INC. (AMEX:UQM), a developer of alternative energy technologies, announced today that an all-electric version of the 35-foot Proterra FCBE 35 transit bus powered by a UQM® PowerPhase® 150 electric propulsion system achieved over 20 miles per gallon in fuel economy equivalency testing conducted by the Pennsylvania Transportation Institute at Pennsylvania State University.

Testing of the composite body all-electric version of the FCBE 35 transit bus was conducted using a modified Transit Coach Operating Duty Cycle (ADB) that includes simulated central business district, arterial and commuter operations. Calculated diesel equivalent fuel economy for each phase was: 21.35 mpg on the central business district phase, 17.55 mpg on the arterial phase and 29.23 mpg on the commuter phase. Each test phase simulated transit-type service at seated load weight and included various passenger pickup stops. Simulated test phases ranged from 7 stops per mile and a top speed of 20 mph during the central business district phase to 1 stop and a top speed of 40 mph during the commuter phase. The FCBE 35 transit bus was tested at a gross vehicle weight of 36,680 based on a seating capacity of 38 passengers including the driver and 34 standing passengers. Fuel economy testing was conducted with the air conditio ning system turned off. Air conditioned operations are expected to reduce fuel economy results by approximately 30 percent. The bus was recharged in less than 20 minutes using the Proterra's TerraVolt fast charge energy storage system at the end of each completed ADB, replenishing the energy consumed and thereby extending the total daily vehicle range.

The FCBE 35 transit bus is powered by a UQM® PowerPhase® 150 electric propulsion system that produces peak torque of 650 N-m and peak power of 150 kW (201 horsepower). The system has a continuous torque rating of 400 N-m and a continuous power rating of 100 kW (134 horsepower). The system also features optimized four-quadrant performance, dynamic torque, speed and voltage control, regenerative braking and system energy efficiency of over 90 percent across substantially all of its performance regimen.

"The fuel economy performance of the FCBE 35 under these industry standard testing regimens dramatically exceeds the fuel economy of existing transit buses with a similar passenger carrying capacity and gross vehicle weight," said Jeff Granato, President of Proterra LLC. "The fuel economy of this lightweight transit vehicle was recently tested at Penn State's Bus Testing and Research Institute. The test validated that Proterra's 35-foot transit bus achieves up to 400 percent better performance than today's conventional diesel or competitor's hybrid transit buses. These fuel economy improvements together with the ability to extend total daily vehicle range through our TerraVolt rapid charge capability offers a tremendous advantage to transit operators who are looking to reduce both emissions and vehicle operating costs. A major factor in the ability of the FCBE 35 to achieve these exceptional fuel economy results is the highly energy efficient UQM® PowerPhase® 150 electric propulsion motor that has functioned flawlessly."

"Proterra continues to achieve spectacular performance and fuel economy with their FCBE 35 platform as is demonstrated by these independent test results from Penn State's Transportation Institute," said William G. Rankin, UQM Technologies' President and CEO. "We are pleased Proterra has selected our systems for this program and look forward to supplying their future motor and power electronic product requirements."

UQM Technologies, Inc. is a developer and manufacturer of power dense, high efficiency electric motors, generators and power electronic controllers for the automotive, aerospace, medical, military and industrial markets. A major emphasis of the Company is developing products for the alternative energy technologies sector including propulsion systems for electric, hybrid electric and fuel cell electric vehicles, under-the-hood power accessories and other vehicle auxiliaries and distributed power generation applications. The Company's headquarters, engineering and product development center, and manufacturing operation are located in Frederick, Colorado. For more information on the Company, please visit its website at www.uqm.com.

This Release contains statements that constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act. These statements appear in a number of places in this Release and include statements regarding our plans, beliefs or current expectations, including those plans, beliefs and expectations of our officers and directors with respect to, among other things the development of markets for our products and the adequacy of our cash balances and liquidity to meet future operating needs. Important Risk Factors that could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements are contained in our Form 10-Q filed January 29, 2009, which is available through our website at www.uqm.com or at www.sec.gov.

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
      • 2 Months Ago
      One of the heavyweights from the bus service in my town are buying hybrid busses. The hybrid busses cost twice as much as a conventional bus, but they ran the numbers and found that paying twice as much was a big win financially. They're running bus service for 16 hours a day, nearly every day of the year -- so the fuel picture looks a lot different than it does for an individual driver.

      This is a progressive college town and it does have a Green mentality, so might have opted to save fuel even if it were a break-even or a small lost. They're also running biodiesel from the nearby megafarms whenever they can.

      Anyway, given how much time a city bus spends on the road, I think the price is a smaller factor than one might think -- especially compared to the costs of fuel and maintenance. The kind of organizations that are going to buy a bus are also likely to have a professional accountant on-staff to, among other things, analyze the financial impact of decisions -- so this is a totally different landscape then selling hybrids to households... If a bus like this will save the operator money (or not cost very much more than a conventional bus) over the decade or so that they're likely to own the vehicle, I'm sure I'll be seeing and riding them soon.

      P.S. Does "UQM" remind anyone else of the Ur-Quan from the Star Control series of video games from the 1990s?
      • 2 Months Ago
      But what is the range? How Far will it go between Charges?
        • 2 Months Ago
        It has a range between 30 and 40 miles.
      • 2 Months Ago
      So how much did the bus cost? That would be interesting. I'm for public transportation, but if ridership is low and cost is astronomical, then how can this be justified? Don't get me wrong, we need to put up more money to phase out ICE engines, but using a super expensive bus in the suburbs of PA makes no sense. But I guess they would be employed in a dense city.
      • 2 Months Ago
      i like this topic, it is amazing. i found that in this website have a lot of information about bus. i always looking such information like this. thanks for your sharing. hope you can share more about it. thanks Best Regards http://www.easibook.com
      • 2 Months Ago
      It would be nice if they made RVs with electric hybrids...just saying.
        • 2 Months Ago
        I was thinking the exact same thing! The high price of gasoline ( when it was $4 a gallon) and the poor fuel effiecency of RVs has really spooked their customer base. My cousin works at an RV dealership and no one seems to be buying the larger RVs (but that could be due to the economy as well). I went to a camp ground last weekend that is usually packed with the class A RVs (the bus size), the grounds was half full and only had the campers (trailers),
        anyways hope nyc will buy these. It would really cut down on the asthma rate and noise pollution.
      • 2 Months Ago
      "Fuel economy testing was conducted with the air conditio ning system turned off. Air conditioned operations are expected to reduce fuel economy results by approximately 30 percent."

      It's fair that they tested this with the A/C off, as most mileage testing is probably done, but it makes me wonder: if it's probably that the A/C or heater will almost always be on in most climates, what can be done about that awful 30% figure? Do buses ever but in decent thermal insulation or dual pane windows? Reflective or solar paneled roofs? Would these efforts pay off or just add too much weight?