The Herald Bulletin

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Local Business

May 8, 2013

Anderson company powering ‘bus of tomorrow’

ANDERSON, Ind. —  If alternative energy technology doesn’t pan out, Dale Hill might have a promising career in bus driving.

Wednesday, Hill, founder of South Carolina-based Proterra Inc., shuttled a group around Anderson to demonstrate his company’s EcoRide bus, a zero-emission alternative to traditional public transit billed by U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood as the “bus of tomorrow.”

The 35-foot bus can run for an hour per five-minute rapid charge, and is powered by battery technology designed and produced in Anderson by Altair Nanotechnologies Inc. The use of Altairnano technology showcases the company’s talent and forward-thinking, said vice president and general manager for U.S. operations Michael Canada.

“This is definitely an emerging technology and we’re very excited to see this happening in Anderson,” he said. “Moving forward, Altairnano has a bright future.”

There are currently 16 buses on the road, although none are in Indiana. Proterra has plans to build 40 more this year and 100 next year.

Each bus takes 48 or 64 battery modules and has a life span of at least 16 years, a four-year improvement on the average public transit bus.

The Herald Bulletin will continue to update this story.

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