Proterra’s New Bus Charging System

Proterra, the developer of heavy-duty battery electric vehicles and charging systems, has introduced new high-power charging options that the Burlingame, Calif. manufacturer said are designed to make a 100 percent electric bus fleet more easily achievable.

The development of universal technology standards will accelerate this transition, and Proterra is actively working to promote interoperability across technology platforms. Accordingly, all Proterra buses utilize the SAE J1772 CCS (IEC Type 1) standard for plug-in charging, and newer models of Proterra Catalyst vehicles will now be fully compatible with the emerging SAE J3105 standard for overhead charging.

The system Proterra is introducing includes a new suite of high power DC chargers that comply with these standards. The three new Proterra Power Control Systems range from 60kW to 500kW and are compatible with J1772 CCS plug-in as well as J3105 inverted and roof-mounted overhead charging systems.

Proterra said the chargers will also utilize de facto industry-standard for communication, Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP 1.6). Proterra’s new charging systems are capable of bi-directional, vehicle-to-grid power flow (V2G), enabling the chargers to be smart-grid ready to maximize the energy management capability of an entire bus fleet.

The Proterra 60 kW Power Control System is targeted at fleets with longer available charge times at the depot. Recharge time is approximately six hours for an E2 Catalyst utilizing a J1772-CCS plug-in connection. Fleets with higher uptime requirements will find the Proterra 125 kW Power Control System more applicable. Operators can plug in the charger to achieve a full charge in under three hours at the depot, with a standard E2 battery configuration.

The 500 kW Power Control System is designed to work best for fleets with extended operating hours and high mileage requirements, such as 24-hour circulators. The 500 kW system delivers fast overhead charging on-route or at the depot, utilizing the J3105 overhead connection standard, and can recharge up to 38 miles in 10 minutes, depending on battery configuration.

New pantograph-style options will join Proterra’s available charging solutions for overhead charging. Proterra is collaborating with Schunk Carbon Technology, a developer of overhead charging hardware for battery-electric vehicles, to introduce these new systems to its customers.

Proterra and Schunk Carbon Technology will work together to further develop standards-based, lightweight, scalable fleet charging infrastructure for on-route or in-depot charging, that can flexibly support dozens to hundreds to thousands of heavy-duty electric vehicles, utilizing standard overhead pantograph systems offered by Schunk Carbon Technology.