SC-made electric buses bought by California town

Greenville NewsJuly 17, 2014 

FILE PHOTO: Proterra Inc. electric bus

PATRICK COLLARD — Greenville News

— Battery-electric transit bus manufacturer Proterra Inc. said it has sold the first of its second-generation electric buses to Foothill Transit of West Covina, Calif.

Foothill Transit, in its 25th year of operating in Los Angeles County, has more than 14 million customers on 36 fixed-route bus lines each year in the San Gabriel and Pomona valleys. Its 315-bus fleet covers more than 300 square miles and includes express routes into downtown Los Angeles and Pasadena.

Foothill Transit agreed to purchase two more buses from Greenville-based Proterra, moving the agency closer to its goal of expanding electric bus service into other lines, company officials said.

Terms weren’t disclosed.

Proterra officials said the new model has a fast-charge system that keeps the bus on the road without taking them out of service for long charging periods.

“These buses are a much needed innovative step for our region,” said Doug Tessitor, chair of the Foothill Transit Executive Board.

“These vehicles are part of our commitment to sustainability and clean air. We want our communities, our neighbors, to be proud of their public transit system.”

With battery-electric transit buses in use in cities across the country, Proterra said it has incorporated key lessons from its nearly 500,000 miles in revenue service into the new model.

Foothill Transit was Proterra’s first customer and helped the company commercialize electric vehicle technology for urban transit, Proterra officials said.

“We are proud of the strong partnerships we have developed with agencies like Foothill Transit and pleased with the positive results these partnerships have already achieved in terms of reducing energy costs and minimizing environmental impact,” said Ryan Popple, Proterra’s chief executive officer.

Delivery of the new 40-foot electric buses is expected in December, Proterra officials said.

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