Proterra composite-bodied bus makes debut

The composite bus, made by Proterra, features a hybrid-electric powertrain developed by UQM Technologies. It will debut at the American Public Transportation Association expo in San Diego, Calif., this week.

UQM Technologies Inc. (Frederick, Colo.), a developer of alternative energy technologies, announced today that Proterra LLC (Golden, Colo.) will showcase the prototype of its HFC 35 composite body, zero emission, battery-dominant hybrid-electric transit bus powered by a UQM PowerPhase 150 propulsion system at the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) exposition in San Diego, Calif., Oct. 6-8.

The HFC35 transit bus’ ground-up design that seats 37 passengers, was funded by the Federal Transit Authority (FTA) and features a lightweight composite body and an energy-efficient fuel cell hybrid-electric powertrain that qualifies the bus as a zero-emission vehicle, emitting only water from the tailpipe. The bus has been designed to accommodate a variety of auxiliary power units other than fuel cells, including diesel, gasoline and compressed natural gas fueled engines. The bus also incorporates the Company’s TerraVolt fast charge energy storage system, which includes proprietary battery modules and packs and a battery management and energy optimization system that has a useful life of 10,000 charge-discharge cycles and can be charged in a matter of minutes using a Proterra rapid charge station. The bus being displayed is scheduled to be put into service in the first quarter of 2009 in a FTA-sponsored nationwide trial starting in Columbia, S.C.

“Transit officials across America are struggling with the challenge of meeting new emissions standards while facing higher fuel costs on smaller budgets. Our hybrid and battery-electric buses are the solution – they are both economical and earth friendly,” said Jeff Granato, president of Proterra. “The energy-efficient, high-performance UQM PowerPhase 150 electric propulsion system is instrumental in providing the torque and power necessary to meet our performance objectives and we are looking forward to continuing our collaboration with UQM Technologies as we commercialize our transit bus platform and power system technology.”

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