by Nadja Redmond
Transit vehicles are mostly powered by unrenewable power sources, such as gasoline, compressed natural gas (CNG), or diesel, with batteries only encompassing 1% of the market. Bus manufacturer Proterra claims that its Electric transit buses are cheaper than the alternative diesel and CNG options. It’s CEO, Ryan Popple, is making predictions that, in the next 10 years, electric transit buses powered by renewable energy will dominate the market. Specifically, he predicts that the majority of bus sales will be electric by 2025, and all new bus sales to transit agencies will be electric by 2030. [https://electrek.co/2017/02/13/electric-buses-proterra-ceo/]. King Country Metro Transit signed a deal for 73 buses with the company for use in and around the Seattle area. These buses can travel 23 miles between charges, with charges taking 10 minutes or less.
Microvast is another company that specializes in battery storage solutions; it has delivered more than 7,500 all-electric and hybrid-electric buses in 2016 alone, with 15,000 overall produced at the end of the year. Most of these buses are in use overseas in China and various European countries, and the company plans to expand operations to the US this year.
Microvast is a developer that manufactures long-life, fast-charging, lithium ion battery systems for more than 10 years, with their electric and hybrid bus business starting in 2010. The U.S. headquarters is based in Houston, and previously focusing efforts overseas, Microvast recognizes a monumental opportunity for growth and innovation in the US.