Stop calling them ‘manufacturers’! As electric buses increasingly roll out, manufacturers are forced to become service providers, able to assist the operator in building the system that surrounds the vehicle.
This is why Proterra is launching Proterra Energy fleet solutions, a suite of options that enable turnkey delivery of a complete energy ecosystem for heavy-duty electric fleets, including design, build, financing, operations, maintenance and energy optimization. The novelty is addressed to operators and goes in the direction to lower upfront cost, reduce risk, and simplify the transition to electric vehicles.
Electric buses, TCO is the king
Customers deploying battery-electric vehicle fleets can engage with Proterra experts in a planning process which includes high-fidelity route simulations, fleet modeling, and a detailed total cost of ownership analysis to determine the right vehicle, battery and charging configurations to meet individual route requirements now and as the fleet scales. With seven years of route modeling knowledge and more than seven million miles of real-world data from electric transit buses on the road today, Proterra leverages its experience to provide best-in-class route and fleet modeling to meet individualized requirements.
Proterra implements also charging infrastructures
Beyond this, Proterra offers turnkey charging infrastructure installation for fleet depots and charging yards, including management of the entire build process from design to implementation. Experienced Proterra engineers and project managers have implemented more than 45 charging infrastructure projects to date. Included in this process, Proterra engages with utilities and electricity providers across the continent to install utility make-ready equipment, help its customers secure the best possible electricity rates, and identify clean, reliable electricity options.
Smart energy management, with Proterra
The Proterra Energy fleet solutions program also offers smart energy management, which includes a charging-as-a-service model for management and maintenance of vehicle batteries and charging systems, as well as tools for energy optimization. Because Proterra designs and builds its own proprietary, high-power battery and charging systems for heavy-duty vehicles, this provides customers with an unprecedented opportunity for smart energy management and full-lifecycle management of energy storage assets. The Proterra APEX™ connected vehicle intelligence system integrates the data streams from vehicles, batteries and charging systems, offering customers access to historical and real-time performance information about their electric vehicle fleet, to improve vehicle and charging operational efficiency. Further, the APEX system offers charge management features such as scheduled charging, monitoring and control of charging stations, to manage power demand and reduce electricity costs.
New challenges for operators
“Fleet operators are adopting heavy-duty electric vehicle technology because it’s proven to meet daily route needs and provides economic and environmental benefits compared to fossil fuel vehicles,” said Proterra CEO Ryan Popple. “As more fleet operators transition a larger percentage of their fleet to electric vehicles, they encounter a new set of challenges beyond simply buying new vehicles. We’ve taken our significant experience in designing, implementing and managing EV infrastructure projects for transit bus fleet operators throughout North America, and launched Proterra Energy fleet solutions to provide a customizable and comprehensive one-stop shop for customers transitioning to an electric fleet.”
Credit facility to make ebuses more affordable
With Proterra Energy fleet solutions, Proterra offers innovative financing models to lower upfront costs and mitigate risk. Recently, Proterra announced a partnership with Mitsui & Co., Ltd. to create a $200 million credit facility to support and scale its battery lease program for transit buses, which enables electric buses to be competitively priced against diesel buses and introduces options for second life applications. In addition, Proterra can retain ownership of the entire energy delivery system, further reducing the customer’s risk and upfront cost. Customers can choose to invest upfront or “pay-as-you-go,” paying for the infrastructure and batteries over time. Customers can be assured that their charging systems and batteries are running optimally and delivering the energy needed with regular, predictable payments.
“Proterra has been powering the shift to 100 percent electric fleets through continuous development and deployment of the industry’s best technology and services, and Proterra Energy fleet solutions introduces the next phase of comprehensive support for our customers,” said Proterra Chief Commercial Officer Matt Horton. “With more than a decade of experience implementing heavy-duty fleets and infrastructure in North America, we believe that Proterra is uniquely positioned to help our customers simplify fleet electrification, and are proud to introduce the industry’s only comprehensive energy delivery system with a single point of contact.”