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Altair Nanotechnologies, Inc. Message Board

  • odialt odialt May 26, 2012 12:29 PM Flag

    Proterra - Conversations: David Bennett, CEO of Proterra

    http://www.proterra.com/index.php/mediacenter/companynews/conversations_david_bennett_ceo_proterra

    Many interesting tidbits.

    "David Bennett:
    We are right at the point where we are transitioning from prototype to low rate production. We will deliver over twenty vehicles this year and then have much loftier production targets the year after that."

    "Today, the price point of a hybrid or natural gas vehicle is about 20-30% less expensive than our vehicle. Our customers provide a level of service in the community often at a fixed cost. Proterra needs to help its customers lower their operating costs so they can see the payback for this more expensive vehicle. We combine the electricity rate with the number of kilowatts per mile, and we turn that into how much it costs per mile to operate the vehicle. Compared to diesel powered vehicles, we are seeing a 50-70% reduction in the cost to operate the vehicle. That kind of savings gets clear attention! As a point of comparison, a hybrid car might have a 4-7% reduction in costs to operate versus a standard car."

    "One roadblock to electrical is the amount of time it takes to power the vehicle. We have overcome that with an innovative way of charging the vehicle in 10 minutes or less - a typical layover time for a vehicle. Our battery management system software optimizes the amount of energy that goes into the vehicle. We are able to quickly put in an incredible amount of energy in the vehicle, operate for one hour to three hours in cities where there are fixed routes or drive cycles, and do that for 20 – 22 hours per day. The range of our buses is approximately 30 miles; depending on the bus route, a charged bus can last between one to three hours."

    "Every transit vehicle in the country needs to go through certification at a national test facility in Altoona, Pennsylvania. We will be the first battery-electric transit bus to go through that certification process and the results should be out this month. Once we pass that hurdle, it will allow us to sell in mass production to transit agencies."

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    • taeo might be interested in this comment.
      <<Do you have any competitors?

      David Bennett:
      There are a lot of people experimenting in this space around the world. We are fortunate to be already in the operating model which puts us relatively ahead of the game. Some new products have been developed in China, but after a year of operation, they have run into serious problems. The buses work for a year, but then they develop problems with battery life.

      We are seeing a lot of announcements, but it takes a lot of time to ramp up and actually get a running vehicle out of the door. We find that the presence of other competitors in the market helps to build credibility with the customers and the supply base. Competition is good!
      >>
      It would be interesting to find out if they are having issues with phosphate batteries!
      Could that be one of the reasons A123 is having trouble?
      tactless

 
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