Proterra opens battery assembly plant in South Carolina

In the USA, Proterra has started assembly lines at its announced battery production facility in Greer, South Carolina. Battery systems for use in electric vehicles will be manufactured there immediately, with deliveries to customers scheduled to begin this quarter.

The plant, called Powered 1, is Proterra’s first high-volume battery production facility in the eastern United States, with a planned annual production capacity of several gigawatt hours. The plant will not only produce battery systems but also powertrains and other auxiliary systems for medium- and heavy-duty electric utility vehicles.

The plant was originally scheduled for operation in the second half of 2022, but after being delayed for a few weeks, the assembly has only just started now in January. Deliveries to customers are still planned for Q1 2023.

Although Proterra usually refers to the plant as a “production facility,” it does not manufacture the battery cells themselves but rather ready-to-install battery systems and their components. Proterra purchases the cells that are installed in the systems there from LG Energy Solution. The manufacturer already has several assembly lines in California. In the latter part of last year, Proterra and Californian bus manufacturer ElDorado National (California) or ENC, a subsidiary of REV Group, announced a new collaboration for batteries for ENC’s second-generation electric transit buses.

Proterra CEO Gareth Joyce. “At full scale, we believe Powered 1 will be the largest battery manufacturing facility in the United States dedicated exclusively to electric commercial vehicles, and we’re poised to meet the incredible opportunities that lie ahead for zero-emission transportation.”

Proterra is well known for both its electric buses and its batteries for commercial vehicles, was already doing well – but got an extra boost at the end of 2021 when the world’s largest electric bus maker BYD was excluded from US subsidies for public transport and school bus tenders by new national legislation.

In the last 12 months, Proterra has signed battery supply deals with The Shyft Group, which will equip its Blue Arc electric delivery transporters with batteries from Proterra, as well as with Nikola in a multi-year contract for batteries for Nikola Tre BEV and FCEV trucks, and Vicinity Motor Electric for batteries for its utility trucks, shuttle buses and box trucks.