Proterra May Be Headed for an IPO, Claims Forbes

Silicon Valley-based Proterra, a leading manufacturer of zero-emission electric transit vehicles, buses and EV technology solutions for commercial applications, “may be heading for an IPO,” claims Forbes writer Alan Ohnsman in an online post today.

Ohnsman’s transportation column reports that Proterra “has set up a new division to sell its batteries, motors and other components for use in commercial trucks, sanitation vehicles and a range of heavy-duty models to cash in on growing demand for zero-emission fleets, particularly in California.”

He also notes that Proterra, which is privately-held, has been working for the past two years with Daimler’s Thomas Built Buses division to supply battery-powered buses for schools. The company’s are currently testing an EV school bus in San Diego, California.

It looks like much of Proterra’s expected growth is also going to develop because of an emerging market for what Proterra can offer other companies. “We’ve been approached by a lot of other vehicle manufacturers that were very interested in electrifying their vehicles as well, who wanted to see if Proterra would be willing to work with them,” Chief Commercial Officer Matt Horton told Forbes. “Organically, we began to do quite a bit of work with some partners and realized just how big the market opportunity was and that the market was ready for these electrification solutions.”

The California company’s revenue may be closing in on the $200 million range for 2019, according to Ohnsman, but that figure is not certain or publicly available. Ohnsman is basing his estimate on “sales of transit buses built at its factories in Los Angeles and Greenville, South Carolina, each of which costs more than $600,000. Those costs tend to be offset by federal and state incentive programs for clean vehicles and operating costs that Proterra says are lower than for diesel-engine models.”

According to its website, Proterra partnered with Thomas Built Buses to electrify its most popular vehicle, creating a 100 percent battery-electric bus that is designed to meet the needs of school bus fleets. The Saf-T-Liner C2 Jouley that is powered by Proterra technology, “brings Proterra’s proven battery and drivetrain technologies to the North American school bus market, the next frontier for zero-emission commercial fleets.”

The 100 percent battery-electric vehicle has no tailpipe, which means the unit reduces exposure to emissions and improving air quality. The Proterra drivetrain features “unparalleled performance and regenerative braking for maximum range,” plus fewer moving parts, all of which means it has “simplified maintenance and better MPGe for greater savings.”

In addition, the vehicle features Proterra manufactured DC charging that enables a full charge in just about three hours, which is “significantly faster than AC charging alternatives.”