GOLDEN, Colo., Dec. 16, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Proterra Inc., the leading maker of zero-emission commercial transit solutions, today announced the completion of its first bus assembled entirely at its Phase 1 manufacturing facility in Greenville, S.C. The Phase 1 facility at 25 Whitlee Court is manufacturing Proterra's EcoRide BE35™ buses and FastFill™ charging stations. Additionally, Proterra is working aggressively with local support to break ground on its larger state-of-the-art Phase 2 plant located on Clemson University's International Center for Automotive Research campus in the spring of 2011. In honor of the first Greenville manufactured bus, an event will be hosted at 10:30 a.m. at 25 Whitlee Court where they'll be offering the opportunity to experience the bus first hand, tour the Phase I facility, and hear the latest news on Proterra's progress in Greenville.
The EcoRide BE35™ is the world's first battery electric bus that can charge in under ten minutes. It has 500 percent better fuel efficiency than a diesel bus with between 17 and 29 miles per gallon (diesel equivalent) and can operate all day as a replacement for conventional liquid-fueled vehicles.
"All of Greenville congratulates Proterra on achieving this milestone," said Knox White, Mayor of Greenville, S.C. "We look forward to working with Proterra on the completion of additional buses from this facility and helping the company open the doors of its Phase 2 facilities in 2012."
"With the support of the Greenville community, Proterra is excited to see the first EcoRide BE35™ bus rolling off our new assembly line," said Jeff Granato, CEO of Proterra. "The Phase 1 and Phase 2 Greenville facilities will help us keep up with the international demand for Proterra's all-electric, zero emission bus and 10-minute FastFill™ charging stations."
The first bus will be sent to the Altoona Bus Research and Testing Center for safety testing required by the FTA. The Proterra EcoRide BE35™ will be the first all-electric bus that the center will be testing and once completed, allows Proterra to mass produce and sell the bus on a commercial scale.
"This has been an exciting time for me," said Westy Bowen, who grew up in Sumter, South Carolina and is now vice-president of supply chain at Proterra. "The company now has over 120 workers and growing with many local hires. We have begun to shift work from other states to South Carolina-based suppliers, creating even more jobs in my state and local area."
Proterra has been fielding an increasing number of orders and inquiries from transit agencies in the United States and internationally since September when Proterra worked with Foothill Transit in Southern California to successfully roll out three of Proterra's EcoRide BE35™ transit buses. After only two months, those buses have accumulated several thousand miles of data indicating that the EcoRide will exceed its claims of achieving a 500 percent improvement in miles per gallon (diesel equivalent) fuel economy performance over conventional diesel buses.
Additionally, in November, five transit agencies across the U.S. were officially notified that they will receive $25 million in grants from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Transit Investments for Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction (TIGGER) Program under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to purchase 20 fast charge battery electric transit buses and 4 EV charging stations. The only vehicles and charging stations that currently meet the specifications in the grants are Proterra's EcoRide BE35™ buses and FastFill™ charging stations.
About Proterra's EcoRide BE35™
Proterra's EcoRide BE35™ buses are unlike any conventional or hybrid-electric passenger bus available on the market today. The bus significantly reduces air and noise pollution for riders and local communities, while dramatically reducing vehicle operation costs for transit agencies. The EcoRide BE35™ contains all electric components, including an electric drive motor supplied by UQM that allows greater acceleration than that of a conventional bus, combined with leading technology solutions that allow for a quiet and smooth uninterrupted ride. With up to three hours of operation and the ability to recharge in less than 10 minutes on route, Proterra's buses can easily be incorporated into any transit agencies' existing routes without impacting their schedules or routes while delivering a quieter, more comfortable experience to riders. Additionally, without the maintenance or fuel costs associated with conventional buses, the EcoRide BE35™ achieves a 500 percent improvement in fuel economy, and greater than $400,000 savings in total lifetime operating expenses.
About Proterra Inc.
Proterra is answering the international call for efficient, cost-effective and environmentally responsible heavy-duty vehicle solutions. Headquartered in Golden, Colorado with research and development and manufacturing in Greenville, South Carolina, Proterra is a leading designer and manufacturer of heavy-duty electric drive systems, energy storage systems, vehicle control systems, transit buses and fast charging stations. Proterra's systems are scalable to all forms of commercial buses and Class 6-8 trucks. Proterra's initial products, a 35' battery-electric transit bus and on-route fast charging station, have been designed from the ground up to enable a world's first ever solution for transit agencies to replace conventional diesel buses on a one-for-one basis with all-electric buses operating 24/7. This is accomplished by combining Proterra's light-weight composite body, highly efficient ProDrive™, advanced TerraVolt™ energy storage system and on-route rooftop FastFill™ charging station to charge the bus in 5-10 minutes. The vehicle achieves between 18 and 29 miles per gallon diesel fuel equivalent fully loaded with 68 passengers – 500 percent better than a comparable diesel bus. For more information on Proterra and its technology please visit: http:\\www.proterra.com
SOURCE Proterra Inc.