There’s a new electric bus manufacturer in town, and Edison International President and CEO Pedro Pizarro says that’s good for California.
Pizarro joined Gov. Jerry Brown today at an open house celebrating the opening of electric bus maker Proterra’s newest manufacturing facility in the City of Industry.
“We are excited to see Proterra expanding and creating more jobs here in Southern California,” Pizarro said. “Our two companies share a vision to help grow the clean energy economy through electrification.”
Proterra says the new 100,000-square-foot facility will start turning out one new electric bus a week, eventually increasing output to four, and will add 150 new jobs to Southern California’s economy. The company has sold more than 400 vehicles to transit operators in 40 communities across the U.S.
“Today, we’re not just celebrating a factory; we’re celebrating the first commercial delivery of the longest-range EV technology in the world,” said Proterra President and CEO Ryan Popple. “Our buses will enable riders a state-of-the art electric experience, and they’ll be able to enjoy the health and other benefits associated with zero-emission technology.”
Those who attended the event, including the governor, got to see firsthand how electric buses, which can travel 350 miles before having to be recharged, are built.
“In order to achieve California’s climate goals, we need more electric cars, trucks and buses on the road,” Gov. Brown said. “Manufacturing these electric buses in California creates good jobs and cleans up the air.”
Among Proterra’s customers is Foothill Transit, which serves an area that stretches from downtown Los Angeles to southwest San Bernardino County. Foothill, Proterra’s first customer, currently has 17 of the company’s buses in its fleet and plans to go all-electric by 2030.
“Our utility, Southern California Edison, is proud to be a partner with Proterra and Foothill Transit to help bring the charging infrastructure needed to connect these buses with a clean electric grid,” Pizarro said. Edison International, parent company of SCE, holds a small minority interest in Proterra. “We believe that emissions reduction and economic growth are not mutually exclusive. We can do both, and Proterra is a great example of that.”
SCE has a plan for expanding electric transportation in its service area, including the electrification of cars, buses, medium- and heavy-duty trucks and industrial vehicles and equipment. The plan is currently being considered by the California Public Utilities Commission.
According to the California Air Resources Board, transportation in general is responsible for 36 percent of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions and more than 80 percent of its air pollution. Communities along transportation corridors stand to benefit the most from zero-emission buses.