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19.6.14

ELECTRIC BUSMAKERS * USA: Proterra's

* California - Proterra, aims to follow the Tesla model

Palo Alto, CAL,USA -Bloomberg News, by Ashlee Vance -June 18, 2014: -- Proterra, which makes an $850,000 electric bus, he’s got a tougher audience: municipal governments that are used to paying as little as $300,000 for a diesel-guzzler... But Ryan Popple, Tesla Motors (TSLA) senior finance analyst says, each bus requires $5,000 to $10,000 worth of juice per year, compared with annual costs of about $50,000 per diesel bus or $30,000 for one that uses natural gas. The downside is the bus runs only about 50 miles on a full charge. Proterra’s solution is a $600,000 station that fully recharges the vehicle in just 10 minutes. In March, Reno, Nev., began using four Proterra buses to cover a six-mile loop, partially charging them for two or three minutes at the end of each 20-minute circuit... Production of a cheaper, roomier, more efficient Proterra bus is slated to begin this year once the company has completed earlier orders. Popple, who has moved to South Carolina, says he’s focused on boosting sales city by city and on speeding production to fill those orders. Each bus takes about 1,000 hours to make, down from 4,000. According to TechNavio, Proterra is known within the industry for its strong RandD team, but BYD has the bigger presence abroad. China is the top buyer, so if Popple can sell enough U.S. cities on his buses, that may be the next stop...

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