Biden’s Fave EV Bus Company Goes Bust. That’s Embarrassing, Joe


Proterra—an EV bus company that was repeatedly extolled by Joe Biden and in which his energy secretary, Jennifer Granholm, had invested heavily—has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the States as it looks to buy some time to free itself from some unprofitable contracts and seek fresh investors.

Jennifer Granholm is reported to have earned US$1.6 million trading in Proterra shares.

The CEO, Gareth Joyce, said that the company had encountered various market and macroeconomic headwinds that have impacted the company’s ability to scale, whatever that means. Based in the Bay Area of California and described as a bus- and battery-maker, Proterra had sold more than 1,300 EV buses to public transport systems in the US and Canada and was valued at US$1.6 billion back in 2021 when Uncle Joe took office in Americaland.

Despite a 10-billion-dollar pledge from the US Gov to support zero-emission infrastructure projects and public transit programmes, and several plugs of Proterra by Biden since taking office, including promoting Proterra’s Gareth Joyce to the President’s Export Council, the company has faltered and is now only worth US$362 million.

The electrification of the US school bus fleet has run into a lot of headwind. To start, there is the cost of the buses. A normal diesel-powered school bus in the US will cost you about US$150,000 whereas the cost of an electric one will set you back US$400,000. Of course, you could retrofit your current fleet but that will cost between US$50,000 to US$100,000, depending on the range you need.

Many of the early adopters have been suffering from technology and charging issues and everyday problems, like not having any storage space as you have to store the batteries somewhere. Then there is range anxiety, something that should be fixed by now. Most of the buses are unlikely to achieve more then half the range advertised by the manufacturer, particularly in the colder parts of the United States, so the longer routes still can only be serviced by diesel-powered vehicles.

Meanwhile, Philadelphia has taken out of service the fleet of Proterra buses they purchased in 2019 due to reliability issues and defects. Sorry Joe, but it looks like China will own the EV future.

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