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Electric Busmaker Proterra Unveils Battery Pack For Heavy-Duty Commercial Trucks

Proterra, a Burlingame, California-based manufacturer of electric buses and battery packs for transportation, has developed a new battery pack that can be customized for heavy-duty commercial vehicles.

The Series H pack is narrower (620 millimeters wide) than Proterra’s current Series S battery packs (860 millimeters), which the company uses in its electric transit buses.

The new packs can hold between 25 and 75 kilowatt-hours of energy storage, compared with the Series S’s capacity of up to 113 kWh. Its more compact dimensions enable the Series H to fit into standard truck frame rails and improve packaging flexibility.

“Proterra’s safe, reliable battery technology has been proven in hundreds of vehicles that are on the road today,” said Proterra CEO and Chairman Jack Allen, in a statement. “That’s why world-class manufacturers are choosing Proterra to power their school buses, coach buses, delivery vans, and other electric vehicles. Now, we are excited to extend our best-in-class battery platform to help power even more commercial vehicles and accelerate the transition to clean, quiet transportation for all.”

Proterra manufactures its buses in the City of Industry, a Los Angeles suburb, and also has a plant in Greenville, South Carolina.

Last month the city of Edmonton, Alberta, unveiled 21 new Proterra-built electric buses, the first of what the city hopes will become a fleet of 40 battery-powered buses by the end of 2020.

About a year ago, TechCrunch reported that Proterra authorized the sale of slightly more than 10.8 million shares at a price of $6.91. If all the shares are sold the company’s valuation could be a bit more than $1 billion.

Proterra, which was started by several former Tesla employees, is also exploring an initial public offering and retained Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley and J.P. Morgan Chase to underwrite it, Reuters reported in July.

In May, Jack Allen was named CEO and Chairman, replacing co-founder Ryan Popple, one of the Tesla alums. Popple remains with Proterra as executive director.

In April, the company received a $200 million line of credit backed by Japanese investment firm Mitsui & Co. that helped it reduce the cost of the electric buses in its fleet.

The company’s batteries are used in school buses, coach buses, delivery vans and shuttle buses. Its customers include Thomas Built Bus, Van Hool, Bustech and Optimal-EV.

“Proterra has invested in shaping our battery technology to exceed the requirements of commercial fleet applications around the globe,” said Proterra Chief Technology Officer Dustin Grace, another Tesla veteran.

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