Proterra to expand manufacturing of electric buses to California

Posted on April 9, 2015

Proterra was awarded a $3 million California Energy Commission grant for the design, development and construction of its new state-of-the-art zero-emission, battery-electric transit bus manufacturing line in California. Proterra’s expansion was prompted by the strong growth in market demand for the new Proterra Catalyst™ vehicle.

RELATED: Proterra adds flexibility with new extended-range battery

The proposed facility, to be located in the San Gabriel Valley, is expected to be operational by the fourth quarter of 2015 and will create more than 70 new local jobs. During the grant term, Proterra plans to manufacture an estimated 424 buses, resulting in a reduction of 900M lbs of CO2 over the lifetime of those vehicles. Proterra was the only bus provider selected for CEC funding and today also announced that existing customer Foothill Transit in L.A. County has placed another order for additional Proterra buses to meet increased demand from its ridership base.
“California continues to be a dynamic center for innovation and business opportunities due in part to advanced transportation manufacturers like Proterra,” said GO-Biz director Kish Rajan. “Furthermore, innovations like Proterra’s zero-emission transit buses support the state’s goal of achieving 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles on California’s roadways by 2025.”
Proterra selected the San Gabriel Valley as an optimal location to serve existing and future transit customers throughout California. The manufacturing facility will benefit economically distressed communities throughout the San Gabriel Valley—providing good living-wage jobs in southern California's emerging center of high-tech manufacturing. Ultimately, implementing the California Zero-Emission Public Transit Bus Manufacturing Project will help further lower production costs, reduce the upfront cost of zero- emission buses and provide a strong spark to accelerate widespread deployment and adoption. 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.
“We’re pleased to welcome American bus manufacturer, Proterra, to City of Industry and expect their new facility will spur both state and local investment, create new jobs, and potentially reduce bus maintenance and operation costs,” said Commissioner Janea A. Scott of the California Energy Commission. “Zero-emission transit is a key element of the state’s policies and programs for deploying advanced transportation technologies to help address climate change, improve our clean air, and reach our petroleum reduction goals.”
“For decades, California has been a consistent leader on policy for the advanced transportation technologies that are now ushering the second wave of adoption for zero-emission transit options like ours,” said Ryan Popple, CEO of Proterra. “We applaud the California Energy Commission for its continued leadership and look forward to joining California’s growing base of advanced transportation leaders.”

Additionally, Proterra announced that Foothill Transit, the primary public transit provider of the San Gabriel and Pomona valleys, has placed its fourth order in just five years for Proterra’s EV buses. Foothill Transit, which serves more than 14 million customers in Los Angeles County, ordered an additional 13 Proterra buses, to be delivered in 2016. The move makes this Foothill’s largest order to date, bringing the all-electric fleet to nearly 10 percent of the transit agency’s total.
“It’s very exciting to be the first agency in the nation to add the new extended range Catalyst™XR to our fleet,” said Doran Barnes, Executive Director at Foothill Transit.  “It’s also thrilling that these buses will be the first off the assembly line at a new facility in our own backyard. Demand is high for zero-emissions technology that can handle the punishing demands of heavily traveled transit routes. We’ve been operating these vehicles for five years and are eager to see what the next generation of tech can do.”
With this latest purchase, Foothill Transit extends its lead as North America’s largest battery-electric bus fleet, and will become the first customer for Proterra’s new extended-range vehicle, the Proterra Catalyst™ XR.  Foothill will also be building off of the success of the full electrification of Route 291, currently serving more than approximately 700,000 annual riders with clean, quiet transportation.
“Transit organizations like Foothill that just five years ago were considered brave new early adopters, are now being joined en masse by cities and municipalities across the nation, ushering in a new era of zero-emission transit solutions,” said Ryan Popple, CEO of Proterra. “Foothill Transit has been a clear leader in the transit community, and we look forward to expanding our relationship through the completion of our new LA County facility.”

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