Catalyst E2 Max bus has six and a half times the energy capacity of a Tesla Model X. Picture: Proterra

Los Angeles, California, Proterra, an electric bus maker based in Burlingame, California has set a world record for the longest distance by traveled by an electric vehicle on a single charge.

After its Catalyst E2 Max bus, fitted with a 660kWh battery, was driven 1861 kilometres without recharging at the Navistar proving ground in New Carlisle, Indiana on 4 September, Proterra chief commercial officer Matt Horton pointed out that the previous record of 1713 kilometres was set by a car 46 times lighter than the Catalyst E2 Max.

"This achievement," he said, "is a testament to Proterra's purpose-built electric bus design, energy-dense batteries and efficient drivetrain."

However, the Green Car Report website commented that the principle Proterra used to set the new world record was simply "higher energy capacity in a battery allows a vehicle to travel further".

Proterra, which sold 190 electric buses in 2016, has set similar records before. In 2015, a Catalyst bus with 257kWh battery was driven 436 kilometres nonstop and in September 2016 a later version powered by 440kWh battery pack raised the bar to 1061 kilometres.

The battery in the record-setting Proterra Catalyst E2 Max bus has 11 times the energy capacity of the 60kWh battery of a 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV electric car, which held the previous record. The largest battery pack in any mass-produced electric car sold today is 100kWh in the highest-spec top-end versions of the Tesla Model S hatchback sedan and Model X crossover utility vehicle.