Double-Decker Electric Bus to Debut in California

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【Summary】California’s Foothill Transit will soon roll out a double deck electric bus. The vehicle will have a coach built by Alexander Dennis Inc and a battery made by Proterra.

Mia Bevacqua    Sep 02, 2018 8:45 AM PT
Double-Decker Electric Bus to Debut in California

California is always at the forefront of technological innovation. So, it comes as no surprise Los Angeles County is adopting double-decker electric buses. Last week, the area's Foothill Transit became the first agency in North America to order such a vehicle. The two-story transport will have a coach built by Alexander Dennis Inc (ADI) and be powered by battery technology from Proterra.

Alexander Dennis Inc built coach

Something is intriguing about a bunk bed on wheels, which is why ADI – and the double-decker buses it produces – are known throughout the world. In fact, the company is the largest manufacturer of such vehicles.

For the Foothill Transit project, ADI will be deploying its Eviro500 bus fitted with a long list of amenities. Riders will enjoy features such as Wi-Fi and expansive cargo space for their carry-on items. The transport can carry up to 80 passengers.


"The Alexander Dennis design and ride quality thoroughly impressed our most discerning customers during an extended demo through downtown Los Angeles last year," said Doran Barnes, Executive Director at Foothill Transit. "As congestion intensifies across Southern California, every inch of road space matters, so increasing passenger occupancy while maintaining comfort and a singular bus footprint is a public transit solution we're really excited to introduce."

Battery pack produced by Proterra

Proterra is a leader in electric bus development. Juice for the company's Foothill Transit Eviro500 bus will come from its newly rendered E2 battery pack. The unit is a fresh design, built from the ground up for heavy-duty applications. Energy desity (157 Wh/kg and 260 Wh/L) is higher than any other battery used in such a vehicle. To ensure maximum performance, Proterra chargers and thermal management equipment will also be used.

Some of the technology found in the E2 is shared with that found in Proterra's Catalyst bus. Last year, that highly-advanced transport broke the world range record, traveling 1,101.2 miles on a single charge.

Double-Decker electric bus his the road

Foothill Transit is at the head of American transportation electric bus development. In 2016, the agency demonstrated an ADI-produced, zero-emissions double-decker on a downtown Los Angeles route. Now, it has purchased one Eviro500 that it will debut in Foothill Transit's Southern California fleet in 2019.

Sources: Foothill Transit and Proterra

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