Battery bus technology gains ground

Battery-electrics continue to claim a bigger share of vehicle markets as industry analysts document drastic declines in the costs of electric energy technology.

The cost of lithium-ion batteries, the technology powering electric vehicles, has declined 35 percent since the first half of 2018, the BloombergNEF research service reports. Costs per megawatt-hour fell also 24 percent for offshore wind electricity generation, 10 percent for onshore wind and 18 percent for photovoltaic solar.

“There have been staggering improvements in the cost-competitiveness of these low-carbon options thanks to technology innovation, economies of scale, stiff price competition and manufacturing experience,” said Elena Giannakopoulou, head of energy economics at BNEF.



Technology developer and manufacturer Proterra announced a $200 million credit service to support a battery lease program to make its buses more accessible to fleet operators by putting electric bus costs at roughly the same as a diesel vehicle’s.

Through the company’s first-of-its-kind battery leasing credit facility, batteries can be leased over the expected 12-year life of a bus. Proterra will guarantee battery performance during the lease and provide “new batteries at mid-life to help customers ensure they always have plenty of energy to meet their route needs and hedge against future replacement battery costs.”

The financing arrangement will include a recycling program to place batteries “in secondary applications after the end of their useful life in a vehicle.” The program is backed by Mitsui & Co. Ltd., a Japanese investment and trading company that operates in 66 countries.


New Flyer

The first of five battery-electric Excelsior CHARGE transit buses has been delivered to the Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon by New Flyer of America. The five 40-foot buses will serve an electric route covering 13 miles, with 700 feet of elevation changes, in the Portland area. Portland General Electric partnered with the district to acquire six chargers and the associated infrastructure, which will use wind energy.



New battery module materials will be demonstrated by DuPont Transportation and Advanced Polymers at The Battery Show and Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology Expo in Stuttgart, Germany, in May, the company announced.

The “Accelerating Hybrid-Electric Autonomous Driving” (AHEAD) product “combines adhesives, high-performance elastomers, electronic materials and high-performance fibers and films that deliver ease of assembly, long-term durability and strong, lightweight, electrically-friendly solutions for hybrid-electric vehicle and electric-vehicle solutions.”

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