Democrats Invited to Ride Proterra Bus


Original Story Published in the Greenville News

A product manufactured in Greenville is getting special attention in Philadelphia this week during the Democratic National Convention. • The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority has invited convention-goers to stop by its downtown Philadelphia headquarters and ride a zero-emission, battery-powered bus made in Greenville by Proterra Inc.

SEPTA, which plans to begin operating 25 Proterra Catalyst buses next year, was scheduled to showcase one of the buses during the convention’s opening day on Monday and again on Thursday, according to a news release from Proterra. SEPTA’s headquarters is about seven miles from the Wells Fargo Center where Democrats from across the country have gathered to nominate Hillary Clinton for president.

One convention delegate from SouthCarolina, Marguerite Willis of Florence, said she plans to go by SEPTA’s headquarters to ride the Proterra bus, even though she’s already been in the company’s factory in Greenville and is a friend of its Greenville-based general counsel, Eric McCarthy.

“I’m a big believer in electric energy,” said Willis, a Greenville native who attended Wade Hampton High School and is now an attorney with the Nexsen Pruet firm.

McCarthy said from the convention floor Monday that the temperature in downtown Philadelphia had risen above 100 degrees – “not a good day to put any more hydrocarbons into the atmosphere.”

SEPTA is buying the 25 Proterra buses and five overhead chargers with help from a $2.6 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration. The deal marks the company’s first significant penetration of the populous Northeast.

A 40-foot Catalyst bus made by Proterra in Greenville is parked at the headquarters of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Administration.



Two California Central Valley Cities, Stockton and Porterville, Select Proterra Catalyst Zero-Emission Buses

SAN BRUNO, CA - July 21, 2015: Proterra, the leading provider of zero-emission battery-electric buses, today announced that the cities of Stockton and Porterville have each placed orders with Proterra for its new Catalyst bus with funding from the San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District. Four new zero-emission, battery-electric Proterra® buses will replace diesel buses in a concerted effort from the Valley to enable the proliferation of clean-air fleets, significantly reduce emissions and improve ambient air quality and public health. Notably, the Proterra Catalyst is the most efficient 40' transit bus on the market, nearly six times more efficient than the diesel buses it will be replacing, at 22 MPGe.

San Joaquin Regional Transit District (RTD), which serves more than 687,744 people in San Joaquin County, will be ordering an additional two Catalyst buses to provide clean, reliable, and efficient bus rapid transit for the region. "As the first transit agency in Northern California to have operated fully-electric buses, we're grateful for the District's funding and the opportunity to expand our electric bus fleet with Proterra," said, Donna DeMartino, General Manager/CEO at RTD.

Tulare County's Porterville Transit also has plans to procure two Proterra 40' Catalyst buses to inaugurate the Southern Valley's first electric transit bus service for approximately 650,000 passengers per year. "With perpetual air quality challenges in the Valley, we're grateful for the funding provided by the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District and pleased to integrate Proterra's zero-emission buses into our transit system. These 100% electric buses will provide a clean, quiet transit solution for our residents and business owners in Porterville," said Richard Tree, PTS Transit Manager.

On the heels of announcing national expansion plans and breaking four records in efficiency, gradeability, weight and acceleration at the Altoona Bus Research and Testing Center, these additional customer orders from Stockton and Porterville will bring the company's firm orders to 110 units, with 323 options contracted, for a total of 433.

"With California representing nearly half of the U.S. bus market and the Air Resource Board setting a goal of operating 100% zero-emission bus fleets by 2040, the state is inaugurating a quiet electric vehicle market transformation," said Ryan Popple, CEO of Proterra. "We're pleased to be in a position to scale production to meet growing demand for zero emission vehicles and ultimately enable transit agencies to go electric."

Article originally posted on

Proterra lands nearly $30 million in new business

Original Article by Rudolph Bell
Published in The Greenville News on February 6, 2015

More than half of $55 million in grants announced Thursday by the Federal Transit Administration will be used to buy battery-powered buses and chargers made by Proterra in Greenville.

The FTA distributed the money to 10 transit agencies as part of a program to deploy the cleanest and most energy-efficient transit buses made in the United States.

Six of the award winners will use their money to buy Proterra buses or chargers, according to a list of the projects released by the FTA.

Together, those transit agencies will buy 28 Proterra buses, seven charging stations and one charger, giving the Greenville company nearly $30 million worth of new orders.

Proterra CEO Ryan Popple said the outcome was a "tremendous validation for the company."

The program involved "intense competition for a lot of different technologies, but cities that specified that they wanted to deploy Proterra's technology did very, very well," he told The Greenville News.

Popple said part of the new business came from new customers in Dallas, Texas; Lexington, Kentucky; and Duluth, Minnesota.

The rest is repeat business from existing customers in Stockton, California; Louisville, Kentucky; and Worcester, Massachusetts, he said.

Popple said it was too soon to say whether the new orders would prompt additional hiring at Proterra, which employs about 185 now at its plant and headquarters along Interstate 85.

"What we're trying to figure out right now is how we slot in the orders," he said following a talk Thursday night at Clemson University's MBA school in downtown Greenville.

Proterra employed about 30 when it arrived in Greenville from Golden, Colo., in 2010 as a startup company.

The FTA said it received 50 project proposals for the funding round that together would have cost $200 million.

Other companies benefitting from the awards announced Thursday include BAE Systems and New Flyer.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, a former mayor of Charlotte, said in a news release announcing the grants that the "innovative, energy-efficient buses will help increase efficiency, improve air quality and reduce our nation's dependence on oil."

Seneca: Blazing a Trail with Electric Buses

In September, the town of Seneca in Oconee County became the first in the nation to have a fully electric fleet of buses.

The EcoRide buses, which are made by Proterra in Greenville, have been incorporated into fleets in larger cities across the country, from Seattle to Nashville. Earlier this year, Worcester, Mass. purchased three Proterra buses, making 13% of their fleet electric. At the time, no other city in North America had more than that--until Seneca obliterated that record by going to 100% electric.

The town of Seneca started in 1873 where two railroad lines intersected, and today, its proximity to Clemson University and the natural beauty of Lake Keowee makes it an attractive place to work and visit. And it's close enough to Greenville that the manufacturer could take potential customers to see the buses in action.

Ed Halbig, Planning Director for Town of Seneca, says, "Now Proterra has a client in their backyard, so we look at ourselves as a marketing partner with Proterra. People who come in to see their factory can then come over and see the first electric fleet in action. If we have other agencies, possibly other countries coming to look at the first all-electric system, ideally that brings some business and tourist traffic to our city. It won't be incredible numbers, but it puts people in hotels and restaurants and they can avail themselves of Seneca's hospitality."

Those are just some of the intangible economic impact benefits the town will see, but the hard dollars of fuel costs are very tangible, and the savings are significant. A typical diesel bus gets four to five miles per gallon, and the cost of running an electric bus is more like the equivalent of 18 miles per gallon--nearly quadrupling the efficiency.

Seneca contracts with Clemson Area Transit, known as CATbus. Seneca owns the buses--as it says on the side of the bus, "Driven by CATbus, powered by Seneca"--but the drivers, who are cross-trained to drive both the diesel-fueled Clemson buses and the electric Seneca buses, are employed by CAT. All of the bus routes within the town of Seneca or running between Seneca and Clemson are serviced by the electric buses.

The buses and chargers were purchased through a $4.1 million federal TIGGER III grant (which stands for Transit Investments for Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction). Another $1.8 million Livability grant was used to build an all-electric maintenance facility. The 36-month project is monitored by the Center for Transportation and the Environment out of Atlanta. CTE monitors data for costs savings, environmental impact, trends, and so on. The town, in turn, works out pitfalls and best practices and passes those on to CTE.

Along with the buses, the town purchased three charging stations: two fast chargers, which the buses lock into for six minutes or so for a quick refill, and a slow charger, to which a bus can be connected overnight or while technicians work on the bus. One of the fast chargers is downtown at the bus hub, and the second is at Oconee Memorial Hospital, which is a major passenger stop. The two chargers are on separate electrical systems so that, in the event of a power outage on one, the other one can power the buses.

Another reason for choosing the hospital as the second charging station is that the town is looking forward: If service expands to other areas of the county, such as Walhalla, the hospital would be the logical hub for that service. Currently, the Seneca bus service averages 22,000 riders per month.

Proterra Named to the Cleantech 100


GREENVILLE, S.C. (October 13, 2014) – Proterra Inc., the leading provider of zero-emission battery electric transit solutions, has been named to the Global Cleantech 100 list for the second consecutive year. This prestigious award highlights private clean technology companies from around the world who display innovative ideas and represent the highest potential market impact.

“Proterra is proud to lead the way in providing innovative, clean technology options that impact the communities in which our buses are operating in and focus on the ideals of sustainability and environmental justice,” said Ryan Popple, president and chief executive officer. “This recognition is indicative of Proterra’s continued efforts in developing viable, sustainable and cost-effective urban transit solutions and we will remain committed to the advancement of EV technology and its transition into mainstream adoption – which is a step forward in achieving a sustainable global ecosystem.”

By offering a quiet, fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly bus to the market today, Proterra has helped cities across the United States reduce their carbon footprints and improve the quality of life for residents. Proterra buses have logged nearly 500,000 miles of revenue service in cities across the United States, and their performance has resulted in repeat business — a major vote of confidence in the company’s technology. Among its customers are King County Metro (Seattle), TARC (Louisville), MTA (Nashville), VIA Metropolitan (San Antonio), CATbus (Seneca), StarMetro (Tallahassee), RTC (Reno), WRTA (Worcester) and Foothill Transit (Pomona).

“The Global Cleantech 100 represents the most inspiring array of entrepreneurs across the cleantech space that are at the forefront of innovation,” said Sheeraz Haji, Cleantech Group’s CEO. “It is a true honor to gather with the global cleantech community every year to recognize and celebrate the achievements of each of the top 100 companies as they continue to solve tomorrow’s energy and resource challenges and redefine sustainable innovation.”

Companies that are not listed on any major stock exchange, or are not a majority-owned subsidiary of another company, can qualify for the list. The 100 honorees were narrowed down from 5,995 companies in 60 countries with consideration to innovation, market and ability to execute.


Proterra is a leader in the design and manufacture of clean technology and clean energy, providing zero- emission vehicles that enable bus fleet operators to significantly reduce operating cost while delivering clean, quiet power to the community. Proterra buses’ fast-charge enabled infinite range makes them well-suited to transit routes. With unmatched durability and energy efficiency based on rigorous U.S. certification testing, the Proterra product is proudly designed, engineered and manufactured in America, based in Greenville, S.C.


Founded in 2002, Cleantech Group’s mission is to accelerate sustainable innovation. Core to this mission is i3, an online platform that connects corporates with innovation, at scale, by allowing them to find, vet, and connect with start-ups—efficiently building an innovation pipeline. In conjunction with i3, we offer premium Advisory Services for corporates in need of expertise designing and executing strategies for sustainable innovation, and managing the pipeline created in i3. The i3 platform comes to life at our global Events, which convene corporates and start-ups, along with other players shaping the future of sustainable innovation. Cleantech Group is headquartered in San Francisco, and has offices in London and New York. For more information, visit;