Proterra’s locating a plant in the Upstate is a “shot in the arm” for the state’s economy, Gov. Mark Sanford said at today’s official announcement. Proterra will be making battery run heavy duty buses and vehicles, investing $68 million and create more than 1,300 new jobs over the next seven years in Greenville County. The governor says this offer job opportunities across the state.
Proterra will lease 25 acres on the Clemson University ICAR campus to construct a 240,000-square-foot building, with the potential to expand into the entire 50-acre site.
Company founder Dale Hill says their main focus initially will be transit buses. “Then it may be delivery vans, it may be school buses, it may be garbage truck. We’re building a plant with an assembly line for buses with a vacant line for ‘to be determined.'”
The city of Columbia has one of Proterra’s first vehicles, a version of a battery-run fuel cell hybrid mass transit bus.
Senator Lindsey Graham, who continues to urge state leaders to cash in on green technologies, today said, “Not unlike the recent Boeing 787 announcement, this is another example of South Carolina leading in the green economy. The bus that Proterra is going to build in Greenville will not only be good for the environment, but it will help this nation break our dependency on foreign oil,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham. “I applaud local and state leaders for helping make the case that South Carolina is a great place to do business.”
After a nation-wide search involving some 30 states, the co mpany selected Greenville, South Carolina as a result of the state’s numerous benefits in terms of workforce capabilities and research and development support.
Proterra’s Hill says “Everybody saw the vision that we saw for our product. They said, ‘We want you here’ and then they went and helped find the financial incentives to attract us to come here.”
The plant will be located on the CU-ICAR campus off Interstate 85. Construction on the plant is expected to begin this spring. The company hopes to be up and running in March of 2011.