Joined by California Gov. Jerry Brown, heavy-duty electric transportation manufacturer, Proterra, officially commemorated the opening of its new Los Angeles manufacturing facility on July 26.
The event, attended by various state and local leaders, featured tours of the new 100,000-square-foot facility and rides on Proterra buses.
“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,” said Gov. Brown.
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, S.C. 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, according to the company.
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.
“We’ve committed to go 100 percent electric by 2030, and this goal has been made possible by our leadership’s confidence in the rapid evolution of the technology,” said Foothill Transit Executive Director, Doran Barnes. “A recent NREL study found our electric buses were eight times more energy efficient than CNG buses on the same route, which validates our commitment.”
To date, Proterra buses across the U.S. 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, according to the company.
“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.”