Proterra Opens New Electric Bus Factory In U.S. – Video

1 week ago by Mark Kane 23

Proterra, joined by California Governor Jerry Brown, officially commemorated the opening of its new Los Angeles manufacturing facility to serve West Cost transit agencies.

Proterra Catalyst electric bus

The new factory is the company’s second after the Greenville, South Carolina assembly plant, where Proterra already has produced and delivered more than 100 electric buses (out of more than 400 ordered).

The company also established battery manufacturing facility in Silicon Valley.

The “state-of-the-art” manufacturing facility in Los Angeles County have capacity of up 400 buses annually. By the end of 2018 will employ 100 assembly workers (70 by the end of 2017).

For Proterra, increasing the scale of its business could be game changing, and a handy pricing and profitability advantage if the rumored IPO will come to fruitionin 2018.

“With transit agencies across the country committing to zero-emission battery electric bus fleets, and Proterra leading this mass-market shift, 2017 will continue to be a critical year for ramping production to meet growing national demand. As the battery-electric bus market leader, Proterra is in a strong position to cement its manufacturing leadership in California, and support the state’s ambitious climate goals, help communities improve local air pollution, and create local high-tech manufacturing jobs.”

“Between the Los Angeles Mobility 2035 Plan and Measure M, the successful ballot measure to fund transportation infrastructure developments and improvements, the greater Los Angeles Metropolitan region represents a massive opportunity to revitalize clean public transportation. Proterra selected metro Los Angeles as an optimal vehicle production location to serve West Cost transit agencies, adding to its existing battery manufacturing facility in Silicon Valley and its East Coast vehicle production facility in Greenville, South Carolina.

Proterra Catalyst electric bus

The new Los Angeles County facility will benefit local economically distressed communities throughout the San Gabriel Valley, providing strong, long-term jobs in southern California’s emerging center of high-tech manufacturing. Proterra expects to have over 60 employees working in this facility by the end of 2017 and close to 100 employees by the end of 2018, building upon its already diverse workforce. Partially funded by a grant from the California Energy Commission, the 100,000 square-foot facility has the capacity to manufacture 400 buses annually.

Proterra’s facility is also in close proximity to its first customer, Foothill Transit, which serves 22 cities from downtown L.A. to the east, and is currently operating 17 of Proterra’s electric buses, with 30 more Proterra Catalyst® E2 buses on the way. Foothill will be the first transit agency to receive the new Catalyst E2 buses that roll off the assembly line this summer.”

“To date, Proterra buses across the United States have completed over 3.5 million miles of revenue service, displacing more than 900,000 gallons of diesel, and eliminating over 13.7 million pounds of carbon emissions.”

California Governor Jerry Brown said:

“In order to achieve California’s climate goals, we need more electric cars, trucks and buses on the road. Manufacturing these electric buses in California creates good jobs and cleans up the air,”.

 

Proterra CEO Ryan Popple said:

“As car culture wanes and more communities embrace 21st century, multi-modal transit, California has a unique opportunity to lead the country in this market transition. We are grateful for Governor Brown and the state’s support as we work to modernize and decarbonize transportation for all.”

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23 responses to "Proterra Opens New Electric Bus Factory In U.S. – Video"

  1. Robert Sanchez says:

    Cali leads the way. Why wait on Washington DC when a lot of the pioneering forces are alive and well at the state and local levels.

    1. Windbourne says:

      Cali is leading nothing. Proterra is a superior bus started in Colorado, now on the east coast. Proterra added a full plant in Cali, and yet, LA buys cheap Chinese garbage.
      Zero leadership there.

      1. SJC says:

        Part of leadership is bringing out the best in people, you don’t do that.

        1. Tom says:

          Well he’s not wrong.

          1. SJC says:

            He is not a leader either.

  2. Windbourne says:

    And yet, LA is buying from BYD, a bad Chinese company, and new flyer, a candian company.
    Proterra? Nope. Not a thing.

    1. SJC says:

      That is L.A.’s choice Governor Brown has no say in what they do.

    2. Mark.ca says:

      They buy from whomever is ready to sell to them now…and they will diversify.

    3. mhpr262 says:

      Proterra have a huge waiting list, most likely they simply couldn’t deliver in time. There is a reason they needed a second factory.

    4. Ambulator says:

      BYD buses are built in LA County. I think that makes them good Chinese.

      Until recently, Proterra was making short range buses that had to be constantly recharged. Now that they’ve moved on to long range buses they can compete.

    5. darth says:

      Hmm, the article says this:

      “Foothill Transit, which serves 22 cities from downtown L.A. to the east, and is currently operating 17 of Proterra’s electric buses, with 30 more Proterra Catalyst® E2 buses on the way”

      That sure *seems* like Proterra buses are being bought and operated around L.A.

  3. Paul Schlueter says:

    So here is another American manufacturing company, adding jobs and building clean busses.
    WHERE IS PRESIDENT TRUMP, maybe he’s not bragging about this one because they will not be burning petroleum fuel?

  4. Tom says:

    I’m generally more excited about changes in buses and trucking than about the M3. I am probably the minority there. But the massive volume of fuel burned in trucking and busing most of it diesel would seem to be a big thing. Additionally not enough is made about the noise issues. The simple garbage truck noise reduction is a big improvement.

    1. menorman says:

      I’m in the minority with you. I think it’s so exciting because all the analysts are focusing solely on TM3 and electric car sales while blatantly ignoring the other transportation segments being electrified at their own peril. The longer they ignore, the bigger the surprise when it blindsides them.

    2. Kevin C. says:

      Spot on Tom.
      They spew tremendous amounts of noxious fumes. They can’t replace ICE buses and garbage trucks with electrics fast enough!
      I’ve been on Protera’s bus and I’m 100% rooting for them.
      .

    3. sveno says:

      I’m into everything battery powered: 18650 flashlights, farming equipment, yachts, satellites, houses, submarines, lawnmowers…

      1. Timmy says:

        18650 Flashlights \o/

        Farm equipment \o/ \o/

    4. Timmy says:

      I trust you are familiar with WrightSpeed(.com), then? I had hoped to have heard much more from them by now. I suspect they’ve run into “issues” of one kind or another. 😐

      1. JIMJFOX says:

        Give it up, Timmy! P*ssing into the wind is what fools do…

  5. wavelet says:

    Sounds odd that a 2nd manufacturing facility would be justified economically, for just 100s buses/year (unless they’re closing the South Carolina facility at the same time?)

    Being close to a major customer shouldn’t matter that much — the shipping cost to that customer is a one-time thing.
    SoCal doesn’t sound like a particularly cheap manufacturing location, and battery (presumably pack assembly?) in Silicon Valley even less so.

    Anyone know what the deal is?

    1. Mark C says:

      I would imagine that they prefer to buy local. BYD built a factory in Lancaster, CA years ago for that purpose. I’m glad Proterra is expanding and wish them great success.

      I’ve always had trouble deciding if a Buick built in Mexico is more of an American car than a Honda built in Ohio. I guess for BYD, they wanted to include American labor to help their sales position, and for that I applaud them.

      1. wavelet says:

        My question wasn’t US vs. non-US, but whether it makes sense to have 2 different US plants.

        BYD didn’t have a plant in the US at all, so it makes more sense — also shipping from China of something as large & heavy as a bus has got to be fairly expensive.

        Also, there aren’t that many EV bus vendors so it doesn’t make sense that state of assembly is that significant — esp. as the agencies buying them would be pretty much all at the local/regional level, not Cali-state.

    2. Jim Paul says:

      With the large potential customer base and transportation savings, it makes sense to manufacture in the heart of the customer base!

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