‘Pioneering’ $200m credit facility launched for bus battery leasing

A ‘pioneering’ partnership has been agreed that will allow North American bus companies to lease batteries for their electric buses.

US electric bus manufacturer Proterra has teamed up with Japanese investment firm Mitsui to create a $200m credit facility for bus companies to lease the batteries over the 12-year lifetime of their buses.

They say this will lower the cost of an electric bus to a similar price to diesel, removing one of the biggest barriers to adoption.

Under the lease, Proterra will own and guarantee the performance of the batteries through the life of the bus, decreasing operator risk.

The companies say that bus companies will now be able to modernise fleets faster and achieve their zero carbon goals sooner.

Yosuke Matsumoto, General Manager of New Business & Innovation Division at Mitsui said: ‘We’re seeing innovation both in technology and in businesses around the mobility sector.

‘We are pleased to take an initiative to support the transit industry alongside Proterra, as the company expands its battery lease program to enable the rapid adoption and a broader commercialization of its electric buses.’

An electric bus in York

‘There is a unique opportunity for markets to provide the necessary capital to accelerate the imminent transition to 100% battery-electric bus fleets and reduce carbon emissions.’

In addition to the battery leasing initiative, Proterra and Mitsui also announced a program to use batteries from the leasing program in secondary applications after the end of their useful life in a vehicle.

Proterra CEO Ryan Popple added: ‘This first-of-its-kind credit facility for public transportation marks a significant development in our evolution to make innovative heavy-duty electric vehicle technology accessible through innovative financing models.’

‘Mitsui’s continued support as a trusted partner for this facility will serve as a foundation for the Proterra battery lease program to expand and allow transit agencies across North America to bring clean, quiet transportation to their communities.’