An electric bus will shuttle fans to Super Bowl 52 this weekend

Proterra Catalyst E2 electric bus
Regardless of whether the Philadelphia Eagles or New England Patriots score the most points, electric vehicles will be a winner at Super Bowl 52. The Minnesota Valley Transit Authority (MVTA) will deploy an electric bus to bring fans to the game, showing off the vehicle’s capabilities under challenging conditions.

The bus is a 40-foot-long Catalyst E2 model from California-based Proterra. It’s scheduled to operate during rush hour and weekend peak hours from January 26 to February 4 on heavily-traveled routes around the Twin Cities, an MVTA press release said. The single electric bus will operate in concert with regular buses.

The transit agency expects temperatures to drop below freezing on Super Bowl Sunday, which should serve as a good test of the bus’ performance. Critics often claim that electric-vehicle battery packs don’t perform well in cold weather, but Proterra is confident that there won’t be any issues.

The Catalyst E2 has 70 sensors that monitor the health of its batteries, capturing 160 individual data streams, according to Proterra. To keep the batteries working properly, the bus features a liquid-cooling system and what Proterra calls a “proprietary state-of-charge algorithm.” The company noted that its buses routinely operate during cold winters in cities such as Park City, Utah, and Worcester, Massachusetts.

Proterra likes to push its buses to extremes. Last year, a Catalyst E2 broke a distance record for electric vehicles, traveling 1,101.2 miles on a single charge. The bus didn’t have any passengers onboard, and the record attempt was conducted on a closed course. Nonetheless, whoever thought something this size would ever hold the electric-vehicle distance record? Proterra estimates about 350 miles of range in real-world use.

Proterra isn’t the only company making electric buses, but it is among the most prolific. It claims to have sold more than 500 buses to 64 operators in 29 states. The company recently scored an order for 25 electric buses from the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, the first step in L.A.’s plan to deploy an all-electric bus fleet by 2030. While the electric cars get most of the attention, given the amount of mileage they cover every year, electric buses could significantly lower carbon emissions in cities, not to mention bring some peace and quiet to neighborhoods.

Emerging Tech

The grid of the future will be powered by … giant subterranean bagpipes?

In order to transition to a more renewable-focused energy system, we need to scale up our grid storage capacity --- and our existing methods aren't going to cut it. Could compressed air be the key?
Cars

Electric car buying guide: What you need to know before you buy

EVs are better than they've ever been, but buying your first battery-powered car can be an intimidating experience. Digital Trends has compiled a comprehensive guide that walks you through the process of buying an EV.
Smart Home

I have seen the future, and it’s full of salad-making robots

Think that robots bussing tables, tossing salads and baking bread is a futuristic concept? It's actually not as far away as you might think. Robots took center stage at a food robotics summit in San Francisco this week, where they showed…
Cars

Nikola previews $80K NZT off-road EV speedster with 590 horsepower

Nikola Motor is taking reservations for the NZT, a high-performance, all-electric off-highway vehicle (OHV). The $80,000 NZT has 590 horsepower, 775 foot-pounds of torque, and reaches 60 miles per hour in 4 seconds.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robots that eat landmines and clean your floors

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!
Cars

Café racer-inspired ebike hits 28 mph quickly and quietly with carbon belt drive

Ebike manufacturer Electra launched the Café Moto Go, an advanced ebike. The Café Moto Go's step-over frame was inspired by café racers. The Café Moto Go is a premium performance ebike built to run smoothly and extra quietly.
Cars

Where to go when your EV is low: Rich neighborhoods have most charging stations

If you're running low on juice in your electric vehicle, head for the rich part of town. A survey by Realtor.com found median home list prices in the 20 U.S. ZIP codes with the most EV charging stations were 2.6 times the national average.
Cars

Ford is keeping hackers out of its cars by putting key fobs to sleep

Ford found a way to stop thieves who try to hack their way into a car by duplicating its key fob. It developed a smart key fob that puts itself to sleep when it's idle for at least 40 seconds. It automatically wakes up when someone picks it…
Cars

This vintage Ford Bronco off-roader has a modern electric powertrain

Zero Labs took a classic Ford Bronco and replaced its gasoline engine with an electric motor and lithium-ion battery pack. So you get the style and off-road capability of a Bronco, but with zero emissions.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Earth Day, indoor container farming, robot submarines

Today on Digital Trends Live, we discuss how technology intersects with Earth Day, a new Tim Cook biography, indoor container farming, robot spy submarines, A.I. death metal, and more.
Cars

Tesla will have ‘autonomous robotaxis’ in 2020, Elon Musk says

Tesla will deploy self-driving cars in a "robotaxi" service in 2020, CEO Elon Musk said at the automaker's Autonomy Investor Day. Musk has promised autonomous Tesla electric cars before, but will he finally deliver this time?
Cars

Startup Smartcar accuses bigger rival Otonomo of stealing intellectual property

California-based startup Smartcar claims its intellectual property was stolen by a much bigger (and better-funded) rival named Otonomo. Otonomo hasn't given its side of the story yet.
Cars

2020 Nissan 370Z Special Edition celebrates 50 Years of the Z car

Nissan is celebrating 50 years of its iconic "Z car" with a special edition of the 2020 370Z. The 50th-anniversary model is dressed to look like a 1970s race car, but remains technically unchanged.
Product Review

BMW’s smallest M car is its biggest performance statement

The BMW M2 Competition is frighteningly quick in a straight line, and its short wheelbase lends itself to some hilarious power slides, but it’s the curvy roads and tight tracks where this coupe comes alive.