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Proterra and LG Chem co-develop new battery cell for heavy-duty market; Proterra sets electric distance record

19 September 2017

Leading electric bus manufacturer Proterra and LG Chem co-developed a battery cell that has been optimized to meet the unique performance and safety demands of the heavy-duty vehicle market. The cell chemistry has been optimized for exceptional energy throughput capability, high charge rate acceptance, and industry leading energy density.

Last year, Proterra introduced the Catalyst E2, the longest-range electric transit bus on the market. Capable of traveling up to 350 miles (563 km) on a single charge, the Catalyst E2 meets the full daily mileage needs of nearly every US mass transit route. For this program, LG Chem has developed an advanced battery cell to meet Proterra’s highest standard in terms of performance and safety. The E2 battery packs represent the heavy-duty industry’s highest pack-level energy density at 160 Wh/kg and 260 Wh/L.

Made from lightweight ballistic-grade materials to withstand the toughest conditions, Proterra’s standard E2 pack was designed from the ground up with an emphasis on safety, durability and performance.

Proterra’s ISO 26262 certified battery management system monitors cell temperature and voltage with more than 70 sensors capturing 160 different diagnostic data streams from each battery pack.

E2 packs are capable of interconnection in various series and parallel configurations for applications up to 1200V and 4MWh in size, with various second life and heavy-duty applications in mind. Features such as liquid cooling and proprietary state of charge algorithms enable long life, rapid charge times and operation in virtually any climate.

Onboard vehicle telemetry enables real-time monitoring and over-the-air updates to battery software so fleet operators can track battery performance and reap the benefits of continuous product improvement.

Between Proterra’s demonstrated leadership in the heavy-duty electric vehicle industry, and the company’s battery expertise, Proterra has been a strong partner for LG Chem to co-develop a battery cell with for this important market. It is our commitment to be at the leading edge of designing and manufacturing advanced batteries to meet the increasing global demand coming from the electric transportation sector.

—Youngsun Kim, LG Chem vice president, marketing

According to Lux Research, batteries for transportation and grid storage are expected to surpass consumer electronics by next year and electric buses are cited as a primary market driver for this growing battery segment. Proterra’s new Burlingame battery production facility is currently ramping production to meet demand and can produce more than 500 MWh of battery packs for the Catalyst E2 bus on an annual basis.

To increase access to its battery-electric buses, Proterra has also introduced an innovative battery-lease financing model that enables transit agencies to purchase electric buses at approximately the same price or less than fossil fuel-based alternatives. Park City Transit was the first to utilize Proterra’s financing for six Catalyst buses that recently went into service. By taking responsibility for the performance of the batteries throughout the life of the lease, Proterra removes the operator risk, and ultimately enables more transit customers to make the transition to electric.

Distance record. Separately, Proterra announced it has set a world record for driving the longest distance ever traveled with an electric vehicle on a single charge at the Navistar Proving Grounds in New Carlisle, Indiana. Proterra’s 40-foot Catalyst E2 max traveled 1,101.2 miles (1,772.21 km) this month with 660 kWh of energy storage capacity.

For the last three consecutive years, Proterra has demonstrated improved range and battery performance. Last September, Proterra drove 603 miles with 440 kWh of energy storage, and in 2015, Proterra drove 258 miles with 257 kWh of energy storage on a single charge. This year’s world record range marks steady performance improvements over prior years, and underscores Proterra’s commitment to innovation and accelerating the mass adoption of heavy-duty electric vehicles.

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. This record achievement is a testament to Proterra’s purpose-built electric bus design, energy-dense batteries and efficient drivetrain.

—Matt Horton, Proterra’s chief commercial officer

September 19, 2017 in Batteries, Electric (Battery), Heavy-duty | Permalink | Comments (6)

Comments

It shouldn't be too difficult to make the jump to making a long-range electric pickup truck!

This is quite an achievement, specially 1102 miles/1772 KM with 660 kWh of energy = 0.6 kWh/mile. Was probably done without load, no A/C, no wind, tire pressure at max and at very low speed?

Nontheless, this is a move in the right direction. Something like 1,000 KW battery pack could probably move this bus for close to 500 miles in normal operation (and ideal conditions) before requiring a quick recharge. ?

12,000 pounds of batteries with a 4 megawatt charger is quite a challenge.

La prueba se realizo a 25km/h en circuito cerrado, sin pasajeros a velocidad constante y por supuesto sin climatizador puesto. Tiene merito esos 1.700 km pero se realizaron en condiciones totalmente irreales.

Those 1.6X batteries weighting about 9075 lbs or 4125 Kg + packaging may not offer the highest energy compactness but seems to be well adapted for use in heavy extended range e-buses.

A small on-board 50 KW fuel cell could maintain or extend range further with batteries less than half the size?

Alternatively, near future (2025 or so) 3X batteries will turn these buses into practical long range units. Quick recharge (when and if needed) would require powerful chargers?

It is one thing to quick charge one car ferry, it is another to do that with 100,000 trucks. Running an 80,000 pound big rig 300 miles with a 5% grade now and then and a bad drag coefficient will take more batteries than people think.

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