HomeGreen BusProterra Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection

Proterra Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection

Proterra, a provider of battery and drivetrain technology for electric school buses and transit buses, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, but no immediate impact is expected for customers of the current “Jouley” Saf-T-Liner C2 model manufactured by Thomas Built Buses.

Thomas Buses’ parent company Daimler Truck and Proterra entered into an agreement in 2018 for electric battery packs and drivetrain technologies for the Jouley. Daimler announced in 2021 that Meritor, since acquired by Cummins, would supply its Blue Horizon electric drive starting with the 2024 model year. Proterra is expected to continue providing the battery packs.

According to Reuters on Aug. 7, Proterra’s shares lost nearly half their value following the Chapter 11 filing. The company headquartered in the San Francisco, California area listed its assets and liabilities in the range of $500 million to $1 billion. The company reportedly has a market value of $362 million.

Reuters added Proterra plans to file customary motions with the bankruptcy court to use existing capital to fund operations. School Transportation News reached out to Proterra for comment but has yet to hear back at this writing.

Industry analyst Alastair Hayfield noted that while he forecasts a relatively high-penetration rate of battery electric buses, overall vehicle volumes are low and competition is relatively high.


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“Proterra has tried to target new markets for its batteries,” said Hayfield, research director and co-founder of Interact Analysis, citing a recent project with industrial and mining equipment manufacturer Komatsu that has yet to reach the market and with forecasted volumes too low for large battery electric excavators in the mid-term.

Hayfield noted for STN that the best route forward might be for Daimler Truck to expand its investment in Proterra and acquire the intellectual property and assets to form a new segment. Daimler did not respond to that inquiry from School Transportation News at this report.

Meanwhile, Thomas Built Buses President and CEO Kevin Bangston said Proterra’s ability to fulfill customer orders is not expected to be impacted by the filing.

“Proterra has indicated that it intends to operate under the ordinary course of business and does not anticipate disruption to manufacturing or supply,” he continued. “Daimler Truck North America and Thomas Built collaborate closely with Proterra Powered and direct communication, monitoring and process engagement will remain in place to optimize continued supply for our mutual customers.”

The Thomas Built Buses Saf-T-Liner C2 Jouley electric school bus with battery pack, thermal management software from Proterra. The bus was displayed at the ACT EXPO in Long Beach, California on April 26, 2019.
The Thomas Built Buses Saf-T-Liner C2 Jouley electric school bus with battery pack, thermal management software from Proterra. The bus was displayed at the ACT EXPO in Long Beach, California on April 26, 2019.

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