Issue: Feb 2010


Research, Development and Assembly of Advanced Battery Commercial Vehicles and Systems



Bringing 1,309 New Jobs and a Clean-Energy Research Focus

by Ron Charles

Proterra Inc., which develops and assembles drive and energy storage systems for heavy-duty vehicles, including their ground-breaking BE-35 fast-charge battery-electric transit bus, today announced that it will locate a facility in Greenville County at the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) for research and development as well as assembly of its products. Gov. Mark Sanford, Sen. Lindsey Graham, Sen. Jim DeMint, Rep. Bob Inglis, Mayor Knox White, Greenville County Council Chairman H. G. “Butch” Kirven Jr., Clemson University President James Barker, the South Carolina Department of Commerce and the South Carolina Research Authority joined Proterra in making the announcement today.

“Proterra's decision to put down roots in South Carolina represents not only a significant investment and new job opportunities, but also another step toward expanding our state's role in the growing market of next generation clean technologies”

.“We are very excited to pursue the next stage of Proterra’s manufacturing and development in Greenville. This new facility will be our first full-scale, state-of-the-art research and development and manufacturing facility for our groundbreaking clean transportation solutions. Several months ago, Proterra retained the help of eRealty Companies Inc. and NPB Capital to assist in the site selection process. After a nation-wide search involving some 30 states, we selected Greenville, South Carolina as a result of the state’s numerous benefits in terms of workforce capabilities and research and development support. Additionally, we were impressed by the efforts of the Governor, the federal delegation, the local officials and economic development entities which far exceeded our expectations. We look forward to continuing a long and fruitful level of collaboration with the state of South Carolina and City of Greenville,” said Jeff Granato, CEO of Proterra Inc.

Proterra and its partners design, develop and assemble all electric and battery dominant hybrid drive solutions and complete vehicles for commercial applications including transit, school and commercial buses, parcel delivery vehicles and other class 4-8 trucks. Its revolutionary BE-35 fast charge battery electric transit bus has been tested at the Federal Transit Administration’s Altoona Center as achieving between 17 and 21 miles per gallon (diesel equivalent), a roughly 500 percent improvement over conventional diesel buses. Proterra is headquartered in Golden, Colorado at the Coors Technology Center.

“Proterra's decision to put down roots in South Carolina represents not only a significant investment and new job opportunities, but also another step toward expanding our state's role in the growing market of next generation clean technologies,” said Gov. Sanford. “I’d offer the state's appreciation to Sec. Taylor and his team at Commerce along with all our economic development partners at the state and local levels for their combined efforts to make our state that much more competitive in this global economy. With that said, we look forward to welcoming the Proterra team to South Carolina.”

Proterra anticipates that it will invest $68 million and create more than 1,300 new jobs over the next seven years in Greenville County. The company will hire a variety of skilled workers to support functions ranging from mechanical assembly, warehouse, logistics, managerial, engineering and quality assurance.

Proterra will construct a 240,000-square-foot building and construction is expected to begin in the spring of 2010.

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