Proterra Makes Overhead Fast-Charging Technology Open to Transit Industry

Proterra is making its overhead on-route fast-charging technology available on a royalty-free basis to help advance standardization across the industry and expand infrastructure for electric buses.

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In a significant move intended to accelerate widespread EV technology adoption and infrastructure development, Proterra, the leading innovator in heavy-duty electric transportation, has announced it would be opening its overhead on-route fast-charging technology to the transit industry on a royalty-free basis. With the recent issuance of foundational patents covering this technology, Proterra is now clear to offer a complete technology package to the market. Proterra will grant anyone royalty-free access to its patents covering its industry leading single-blade overhead charging design. This includes the bus-mounted, single-blade charging design and the overhead charging coupler. Consistent with this, Proterra is working with its suppliers to open up Proterra’s single-blade overhead charging design for direct sale to third parties. Industry-wide availability of the company’s single-blade overhead charging design will advance standardization efforts and will facilitate additional innovation. 

“As more and more electric buses operate on U.S. roads, it will be critical for the transit industry to have access to open technology platforms in order to effectively scale this technology and enhance the transit industry,” says Lee Gibson, Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County, Nevada. “With Proterra opening up its technology to other manufacturers, this will significantly benefit communities across the nation with this proven technology. Together they can move the industry forward.”

With more than 2.4 million miles of revenue service across the United States, Proterra has more battery-electric buses on the road today than any other manufacturer, and the Proterra single-blade overhead fast-charge system is the most utilized on-route charging technology in the industry. Over the past five years, public transit agencies across the country have performed more than 250,000 charging events using the Proterra single-blade overhead fast-charge system, providing these agencies with the flexibility of keeping their buses on the road all-day, and seamlessly integrating electric buses with existing route schedules. In order to meet the needs of transit operations, the single-blade vehicle coupling mechanism supports a charging voltage range of 250-1,000V DC, and can provide electrical current of up to 1,400 amps, with safety taking the highest priority in these systems. Proterra’s unique technology was specifically designed to limit exposure to high voltage components, unlike catenary or third-rail solutions.

“At Proterra, we’re focused on designing and manufacturing the safest, highest-performing EV transit solutions on the market, but we’re also determined to enhance and expand the sector as a whole. We believe that everyone benefits from open platforms and greater customer choice,” says Ryan Popple, CEO of Proterra. “We hope that this decision will encourage even more transit agencies to bring clean, quiet, emission-free vehicles to our city streets and community roadways.”

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