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Proterra Prepares for Cal Manufacturing

April 28, 2015 in Companies, Electric Drive, EVs, Fleet Order, money awarded by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

CEC Money to Support Plant at City of Industry (Los Angeles)
For Versatile ‘Catalyst’ All-Electric 40-Foot Transit Bus Platform

Proterra is celebrating the award of $3 million from the California Energy Commission to fund the design, development and construction of a state-of-the-art plant to manufacture its zero-emission, battery-electric transit buses. updated April 29

Proterra sales VP Matt Horton with Catalyst FC bus

Proterra sales VP Matt Horton with Catalyst FC bus


Proterra’s focus is on its “Catalyst” brand 40-foot vehicles – the Catalyst XR with a larger battery installation for single-charge range of up to 180 miles, and the Catalyst FC, with a smaller battery capacity and fast-charge capability.

“One bus, many configurations,” says sales VP Matt Horton, explaining that customers can opt for buses with battery capacities according to their needs. The choices range

  • from 53 to 131 kilowatt-hours for the fast-charge Catalyst FC; and
  • from 129 to 321 kilowatt-hours (affording 180 miles of range) for the Catalyst XR.

Proterra uses LTO/lithium titanate oxide batteries from Toshiba for the fast-charge buses, and lithium manganese cobalt/NMC batteries from LG Chem for the extended-range vehicles.

Coming your way?

Coming your way?

The strategy is to buy automotive cells, which are rapidly decreasing in price, and assemble them in proprietary liquid-cooled battery packs, Horton says – as many per bus as the customer needs. Operators can modify their Proterra vehicles as their needs change.

424 Buses Planned

Proterra uses traction motors from Colorado’s UQM Technologies.

The CEC-backed factory will be in City of Industry, Horton told F&F (in the San Gabriel Valley east of Los Angeles).

Proterra said that its expects to build some 424 buses during the term of the CEC grant. “The project will accelerate private investment in California, bringing in $5,411,352 in private investment to match the $3,000,000 Energy Commission investment, for a total project budget of $8,411,352,” states a release.

More for Foothill Transit, Another for King County Metro

Proterra says it was the only bus manufacturer to win such funding, and noted too earlier this month that one of its earliest customers, Foothill Transit, “has placed another order for additional Proterra buses to meet increased demand from its ridership base.”

Another star customer, King County Metro in Seattle, has increased its pilot order from two buses to three, Horton says – especially notable because the agency took an option for 200 Proterra vehicles when it ordered the first pair (F&F, September 9).

Proterra said last month that its various customers have logged one million miles in revenue service.

Proterra executives summed up the company’s strategy and current position at a briefing at investor Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers’ offices in Silicon Valley on Tuesday.

Proterra executives summed up the company’s strategy and current position at a briefing at investor Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers’ offices in Silicon Valley on Tuesday.


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Source: Proterra with Fleets & Fuels follow-up

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