Proterra Gets New COO (from Tesla), Announces Tripling Of Production

OCT 13 2016 BY MARK KANE 11

Proterra Catalyst E2 - Available With 440-650 kWh battery

Proterra Catalyst E2 – Available With 440-650 kWh battery

Proterra announced a strengthening of its management team by adding Josh Ensign as chief operating officer COO.

Josh Ensign is Tesla Motors former Vice President of Manufacturing.  Josh was responsible for all manufacturing activities at Tesla’s Fremont, California production site (including Model S, dual-motor Model S and Model X production lines).

Proterra E2 Catalyst Bus With 660 kWh (no misprint) Battery - Enabling 350+ Miles Of Real World Range

Proterra E2 Catalyst Bus With 660 kWh (no misprint) Battery – Enabling 350+ Miles Of Real World Range

Josh Ensign  A military veteran and former executive of Honeywell International and Tesla Motors, Ensign’s track record includes leading global operations for 42 factories in 15 countries and managing the supporting supply chains.

Proterra says it will rely on Josh’s knowledge to triple production at its Greenville, S.C. facility, and also initiate production in Southern California in 2017.

Josh Ensign, now Chief Operating Officer at Proterra made a statement saying:

“Mass transit in North America represents a $3 billion market opportunity, and my top priority will be to help Proterra establish a competitive U.S. manufacturing presence to meet market demand and to support the industry’s transition to an all-electric future.”

Ryan Popple, CEO of Proterra added:

“Keeping pace with mounting customer demand is a tall order, but we are confident in Ensign’s ability to lead Proterra’s operations through this high-growth period. We are very pleased to have him at the helm of Catalyst vehicle production. His operational expertise is exactly what Proterra needs to bring the Catalyst mainstream and to maintain our pursuit of a clean, diesel-free future.”

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11 Comments on "Proterra Gets New COO (from Tesla), Announces Tripling Of Production"

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Good to see PEVs (Plug-in EVs) increasing market share in many sectors!

Up the EV revolution!

Triple the production… it sounds impressive, but when you start at very low levels it’s not all that.

What is the number they are aiming for after the tripling? 300 a year? 500?

What are the annual bus sales in the US? 60 000?

Tripe is triple, regardless of the number. How many new businesses neither triple nor double or even keep up their business, but fail miserably??

Because going from 1 to 3 is insignificant, but going from 100 to 300 is reasonable, and going from 1000 to 3000 is great.

The amount is important!

City bus, fine. But here’s what we might want to see.

School Buses – electric. Use them for grid storage / frequency response systems in the summer when they are unused. Since taxpayer money already is paying for school buses, consider moving to slightly smaller electric buses rather than the historical big bus model (which I have to believe is relatively cheap).

Since kWh put on the grid is paid for at a premium, the grid distribution companies could subsidize these buses so school districts are not tied-up in costs when buying them. Might even pay for themselves.

I’m not crazy in this idea. They’re already doing it in Quebec – at least the electric school bus part. Now, just to integrate it into the grid.

Heh – wow – $110,000 per bus subsidies in California. Taxpayers may want to think about this one.

NREL is also looking at electric school buses, and those ones do have V2G capability.

Although I like the idea of EV everything, but we need City bus more than school bus

School bus gets to use about twice a day, city bus get to use about 12 hrs a day, environment impact is much higher.

“Heh – wow – $110,000 per bus subsidies in California. Taxpayers may want to think about this one.”

Why? The current bus fleet has thousands of dollars in externalities per bus. These externalities are costs that the public is forced to deal with like increased health care costs caused by the air pollution buses generate.

Maybe if you view the tax subsidy in the form of reducing health care costs for all of us that you won’t think this subsidy is extreme.

My first thought wasn’t about Proterra – it was about Tesla. How does the loss of Josh affect Tesla’s production line ramp-up for the Model 3? This is yet another Tesla senior manufacturing exec that has left.

Apparantly, he and the VP of Production were asked to leave because of all the problems ramping up and manufacturing the Model X. It was a fiasco and Elon called it “production hell.” Neither Mr. Ensign as VP of Manufacturing, nor the VP of Production had any automobile manufacturing experience, and were probably a big reason why the Model X ramp up and launch were so delayed, and the horrendous quality control and numerous defects found in the Model X in the first nine months of production. Previously, Mr. Ensign worked at Honeywell, and the VP of Production worked at SunPower making solar panels.

Soon after their departure Tesla hired Audi Senior Director of Production, Peter Hochholdinger as their new VP of Production, and charged him with building the Model
3 program and with continuing to “increase and improve Model S and X production.” He has over two decades of production experience at Audi.

Do all the EV makers really need to poach employees back and forth constantly? I can’t help but think that those churning execs aren’t actually doing useful work.

Aren’t there other automotive execs who would serve as well? After all, drivetrain design is just one aspect of making EVs… Body/chassis design, outsourcing of non-drivetrain systems, integration, engineering test, assembly, supply chain etc. aren’t specific to EVs .