Electric bus could help companies cut business costs  A new electric bus developed by a team of researchers funded by General Motors (GM) could help transit agencies to slash their fuel bills, according to a published report.

The MIT Technology Review reports that the electric bus, designed by Proterra, is one of the first large electric vehicles developed. To keep costs down and allow for quick recharges, engineers designed the bus to run on small battery packs that are intended for rapid charges and can be replenished in under 10 minutes.

Energy prices have soared since the beginning of the year, and with a barrel of oil hovering around $100, transit agencies are searching for ways to cut costs, Proterra chief executive Jeff Granato affirmed. The electric buses are projected to save more than $600,000 in fuel costs over their 12-year lifespan.

Furthermore, the electric buses require less maintenance than those fueled by diesel, contributing an additional $70,000 to $95,000 in business cost reductions. Its designers concede, however, that it has a driving range of only between 30 and 40 miles.

Though lithium titanate batteries used in the bus require frequent charges, they still last more than eight years.
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