Democrats Invited to Ride Proterra Bus

RUDOLPHBELL DBELL@GREENVILLENEWS.COM

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.

SUPPLIED BY PROTERRA