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The Fledgling Electric Bus Business Is Taking a Page From Solar

  • Proterra and Mitsui partnering on $200 million credit facility
  • Partnership to lease batteries to spur electric bus adoption
Proterra’s Catalyst E2 bus

Proterra’s Catalyst E2 bus

Source: Clint Davis

For all the talk about electric cars taking over the roads, electric buses still make up less than 0.1 percent of America’s public transportation fleet. Proterra Inc. thinks it’s found a way to change that -- by taking a page from rooftop solar.

The electric-bus maker is partnering with Japanese trading house Mitsui & Co. to lease batteries to public transportation agencies through a $200 million, first-of-its-kind credit facility that will support the delivery of 1,000 electric buses. They’re betting that by lowering the upfront costs of zero-emission buses to compete with diesel ones they can help bring electric buses to the mainstream.