I found a very recent sales presentation
regarding their products and the transit bus market. There is a lot of interesting information in that presentation, some of which is news to me.
Let's start with TCO. Proterra claims to have about a $150,000 TCO benefit over diesel buses and a $130,000 TCO benefit over CNG buses over a 12-year period. Of course there are assumptions in there for the route (battery size) as well as fuel and maintenance costs. Here's their chart (and I will assume the numbers are in K$, not $ as shown, except for the TCO/mile numbers):
What you see with vehicles like buses which are driven a lot, it is much more likely that higher purchase prices can be more-readily recovered through reduced fuel and maintenance costs.
What's interesting here is that Proterra
will sell their buses without the battery for about the same cost as a diesel bus and lease the battery. This has two major benefits for transit authorities: 1) It fits their existing spending model and 2) It eliminates risk associated with owning the batteries.
Another interesting chart shows historical and projected bus purchase prices by fuel type:
I see a few interesting things in that chart:
- A new Proterra
bus can be had for $750,000.00. (I'm not sure which one.)
- BEV bus prices are coming down rapidly.
- BEV buses can be purchased for the same price as a diesel-electric hybrid bus today. (Of course the hybrid can be driven much farther.)
expects to achieve purchase price parity with CNG buses in 2022 and diesel buses in 2025.
Some other things I found interesting in the presentation:
's BEV buses are lighter than the incumbent products.
's BEV buses seat more passengers than the incumbent products.
expects battery costs to drop by $14% each time volume doubles.
has outstanding orders for about 400 buses.
Given the battery options which are already available today and the rapidly dropping cost for Li-ion batteries, it seems the days are numbered for diesel-powered buses. Fuel costs may allow CNG buses to survive for a bit longer, especially in the U.S.
Transit authorities in areas with expensive electricity would be wise to install PV panels over depots and terminus buildings in order to lock in lower electricity costs. This allows them to decouple their cost structure from external entities and thereby better manage their resources. No other fuel option provides this opportunity.