Proterra Nets Funding, Initial Bus Order for New California Plant


South Carolina-based Proterra has announced some big news for the company in California.

The battery-electric bus maker has won a $3 million grant from the California Energy Commission (CEC) to build a new plant, as well as a follow-on bus order from Foothill Transit.

The CEC grant will help fund the design, development and construction of a new Proterra manufacturing facility, expanding Proterra's EV bus manufacturing and service capabilities to West Coast customers.

Proterra says 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. The company adds the project will accelerate private investment in California, bringing in $5,411,352 in private investment to match the $3 million CEC grant, for a total project budget of $8,411,352.

‘California continues to be a dynamic center for innovation and business opportunities due in part to advanced transportation manufacturers like Proterra,’ says Kish Rajan, director of the California Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development. ‘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.’

Furthermore, Foothill Transit, the primary public transit provider of California's San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys, has placed its fourth order in just five years for Proterra's EV buses.

Foothill Transit has ordered an additional 13 Proterra buses, to be delivered in 2016. The move makes this Foothill's largest order to date, bringing its all-electric fleet to nearly 10% of the transit agency's total.

With this latest purchase, Foothill Transit also will become the first customer for Proterra's new extended-range vehicle, the Proterra Catalyst XR.

“It's very exciting to be the first agency in the nation to add the new extended-range Catalyst XR to our fleet,’ says 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.’

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