ACT Expo 2018

Proterra e-Buses: Made in Los Angeles

July 31, 2017 in Companies, Electric Drive, EVs, manufacturing, transit by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

‘An Optimal Vehicle Production Location,’ Busbuilder Says

Proterra celebrated the opening of a new manufacturing facility in Los Angeles, deeming the city “an optimal vehicle production location to serve West Cost transit agencies.” The 100,000 square-foot, City of Industry facility has capacity for 400 buses annually.

‘We need more electric cars, trucks and buses on the road,’ California Governor Jerry Brown said in opening Proterra’s new manufacturing facility in City of Industry, in the San Gabriel Valley east of Los Angeles.

Proterra says it expects to have more 60 employees working in the new plant by the end of 2017, “and close to 100 employees by the end of 2018.”

The facility was financed in part by a grant from the California Energy Commission. It augments a battery plan in Silicon Valley south of San Francisco and the company’s bus factory in Greenville, S.C.

‘Good Jobs,’ Says the Governor

“In order to achieve California’s climate goals, we need more electric cars, trucks and buses on the road,” California Governor Jerry Brown said in a Proterra release following the Wednesday opening.

“Manufacturing these electric buses in California creates good jobs and cleans up the air,” he said.

Proterra’s longer-range Catalyst E2 bus was unveiled last year (F&F, September 12, 2016). Lead customer Foothill Transit is to get the first.

Proterra notes that its new facility is 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 vehicles on order. Foothill will be the first to receive Proterra’s new Catalyst E2 buses, slated to roll off the assembly line this summer.

More Efficient than CNG

“We’ve committed to go 100% electric by 2030,” Foothill executive director, Doran Barnes says in Proterra’s new factory announcement.

“A recent NREL [National Renewable Energy Laboratory] study found our electric buses were eight times more energy efficient than CNG [compressed natural gas] buses on the same route, which validates our commitment,” he said.

‘As Car Culture Wanes…’

“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,” said Proterra CEO Ryan Popple. “We are grateful for Governor Brown and the state’s support as we work to modernize and decarbonize transportation for all.”

To date, Proterra says, its buses in the U.S. have completed over 3.5 million miles of revenue service, displacing more than 900,000 gallons of diesel, and eliminating more than 13.7 million pounds of carbon emissions.

Proterra Buses for National Parks, Too

CEO Popple said in a blog post today that Proterra is supplying buses to the U.S. National Park system, beginning with fully battery electric vehicles for Bryce Canyon and Zion in Utah. “At the same time, Proterra is also working with other national parks to help them meet their sustainable transportation goals,” he said.

Elsewhere in Utah, Proterra is supplying six all-battery buses to Park City Transit.

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Source: Proterra with Fleets & Fuels follow-up

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