Former executive of Tesla Motors and now CEO of his own start-up company ‘Proterra’, Ryan Popple is planning to revolutionise public transportation. Using all his experience he learned from working at Tesla Motors, Ryan Popple has been working on getting the cost down for parts to make it affordable to create electric buses.
Proterra will construct electric buses that are three times more efficient than traditional diesel fuelled buses. A new facility in California will produce 424 buses after already selling 100 buses to 14 agencies in Los Angeles.
Each bus has a battery range from 53 to 131 kilowatt hours, which lasts for about 290 kilometres. According to the company, this is enough power the bus for the entire day. In addition to specialists working on the production, the company have also said that it will take less than 10 minutes to recharge.
The cost to manufacture one bus is $850,000 which is more than double the price of diesel which sells for $300,000, excluding the additional cost of charging stations at a price of $600,000. However, each bus would use between $5,000 to $10,000 worth of electricity annually, in contrast to the heavy expense of diesel which comes in annually at $30,000 to $50,000.
Since electric buses are a relatively new technology, it will still take time to be developed. Nevertheless Ryan Popple remains positive that electric buses will have a remarkable impact in America by stating: “I’m highly confident that within the next five to ten years, the majority of buses sold in the United States will be electric”.
With this exciting prospect to reduce pollution and providing a quieter and cleaner mode of transportation, there is no doubt that the electric buses have the potential to go global.