Proterra Accelerates Adoption of Electric Buses with New Partner

by David Mowatt

Proterra, an American automotive and energy storage company and a leading innovator in heavy-duty electric transportation, announced a partnership with Mitsui & Co. to create a $200 million credit facility in support of a battery lease program that will help speed up the adoption of electric buses around the country.

By partnering with Japanese company Mitsui & Co., a leading investment and trading company, Proterra will be able to make electric buses more affordable for more transit customers in addition to helping fleets transition towards electric on a much grander scale.  According to Proterra, their new program will allow transit customers to purchase electric buses separately from their batteries, effectively making electric buses “roughly the same price as a diesel bus” by virtue of being able to lease the batteries over the 12-year lifetime of the bus.

Proterra states that they will own and guarantee the performance of the batteries through the 12-year lifespan of the bus in an attempt to decrease operator risk. The battery lease agreement will also reportedly provide a performance warranty on the batteries and new batteries at mid-life to help customers ensure they always have plenty of energy to meet their route needs and hedge against future replacement battery costs. The American automaker claims that the new leasing program “removes one of the biggest barriers to electric bus adoption,” allowing agencies be able to modernize fleets faster in order to achieve their zero carbon goals much sooner.

Yosuke Matsumoto, General Manager of New Business & Innovation Division at Mitsui, commented on the recent announcement, stating:

“We’re seeing innovation both in technology and in businesses around the mobility sector. We are pleased to take an initiative to support the transit industry alongside Proterra, as the company expands its battery lease program to enable the rapid adoption and a broader commercialization of its electric buses. There is a unique opportunity for markets to provide the necessary capital to accelerate the imminent transition to 100 percent battery-electric bus fleets and reduce carbon emissions.”

Proterra CEO Ryan Popple added:

“This first-of-its-kind credit facility for public transportation marks a significant development in our evolution to make innovative heavy-duty electric vehicle technology accessible through innovative financing models. Mitsui’s continued support as a trusted partner for this facility will serve as a foundation for the Proterra battery lease program to expand and allow transit agencies across North America to bring clean, quiet transportation to their communities.”

Source: Proterra

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