Proterra Delivering Electric Buses to Southeast Michigan Fleets


The Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART) and Detroit Department of Transportation (DDOT) have agreed to purchase electric buses and chargers from Proterra, representing the 100th customer for the electric vehicle company.

To date, Proterra has sold more than 800 buses across 41 U.S. states and Canadian provinces and delivered more than 390 battery-electric buses. Proterra vehicles on the road have achieved nearly 10 million miles of service across North America.

DDOT will receive two 40-foot Proterra Catalyst E2 Max buses, two Proterra 125 kW plug-in chargers and one 500 kW overhead fast-charge system. SMART will receive four 40-foot Proterra Catalyst E2 buses with DuoPower drivetrain technology, four Proterra 125 kW plug-in chargers and one 500 kW overhead fast-charge system.

DDOT and SMART provide public transit to the southeast Michigan region. DDOT serves the city of Detroit and neighboring cities, and SMART operates primarily in suburban areas. SMART and DDOT were awarded $2.6 million through the Low- or No-Emission Vehicle (Low-No) Program from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration for the electric buses and charging systems. The Proterra vehicles are the first electric buses for both organizations, and the vehicles will replace aging diesel buses.

“SMART has long been interested in adding alternative fuel buses to our fleet, and the all-electric bus project is a big step into the future for transit in southeast Michigan,” says John C. Hertel, general manager at SMART. “Battery-electric buses not only help us meet our sustainability goals but provide a better rider experience while delivering cost-savings.”

Detroit-based utility DTE Energy will work with SMART, DDOT and Proterra to provide the utility infrastructure necessary for charging the buses while on-route and at the respective terminals. Proterra and DTE Energy also recently announced a project to provide battery-electric school buses to Michigan schools and to conduct a vehicle-to-grid pilot program.

“We’re excited to once again be working with Proterra to deliver the benefits of electric vehicle technology to Michigan,” says Sean Gouda, manager of DTE’s electrification business development. “DTE Energy is a leader in clean energy initiatives, and we see transportation as a great opportunity to grow our sustainability efforts throughout the state. We commend DDOT and SMART for expanding clean transportation options in our region.”

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