The electric buses industry is growing with Proterra and BYD taking big steps forward.  

It’s been a month since I was asking why electric buses have not been widely deployed and public transportation has not yet embraced their impressive credentials. In this emerging electric vehicles world, two companies are now powering up the electric buses market. Proterra and BYD have convinced local authorities to use their electric buses.This is helping to lead the way into the future of electric vehicles.

Proterra is an American electric vehicle maker, run by former Tesla employee Ryan Popple. As we know from Bloomberg Businessweek, Proterra has recently secured $100 million outside funding for its electric buses. Having sold four electric busses to Reno, Nevada, Proterra is now in further talks with the city’s public transportation authorities. Soon they will decide if they want to expand their bus fleet and buy another 20 buses. I will be watching this space as Proterra follows Tesla’s lead in getting the public’s acceptance for electric vehicles.

BYD is one of China’s largest batteries, components and automotive manufacturer with headquarters in China and USA. The company develops highly efficient electric buses and has a strong international presence. BYD electric buses have been introduced across North, South and Central America with Edmonton, Canada, currently testing two electric buses. Additionally, the company has recently introduced the first electric buses ever in Taiwan and has also made an entrance to South and Central America.

BYD-bus

What do the two companies have in common? They have both introduced electric buses in urban transportation. Once people get used to them and realise how much better they are for the environment, it will lead to greater use compared to conventional buses. We have already seen this with hybrid buses. This will be a further push to invest more in electric buses.

There are still barriers to overcome before electric buses flourish, however. Range anxiety remains as the Proterra bus is able to run only 50 miles on a full charge. With more research and advances in battery technology and battery management for electric vehicles, along with fast and inductive charging infrastructure, it won’t be long before electric buses have compatible range to traditional buses.