Proterra’s battery leasing scheme allows the company to guarantee battery performance
Proterra, a leading innovator in heavy-duty electric transportation, has announced a partnership with Mitsui & Co. to create a US$200-million credit facility in support of a battery lease programme.
Mitsui, a leading Japanese investment and trading company, holds a diversified portfolio of businesses in various sectors, including mobility, infrastructure and renewable energy. The battery leasing credit facility, the first of its kind in the North American public transit industry, is expected to lower the upfront costs of zero-emission buses and put Proterra electric buses at roughly the same price as a diesel bus.
By decoupling the batteries from the sale of its buses, Proterra enables transit customers to purchase the electric bus and lease the batteries over the 12-year lifetime of the bus. As a result of the battery lease, the initial capital expense for the electric bus will be similar to a diesel or CNG bus, and customers can utilise the operating funds previously earmarked for fuel to pay for the battery lease.
Additionally, under the 12-year battery lease, Proterra will own and guarantee the performance of the batteries through the life of the bus, decreasing operator risk. The battery lease agreement also provides a performance warranty on the batteries and new batteries at mid-life to help customers ensure they always have plenty of energy to meet their route needs and hedge against future replacement battery costs.
This battery lease programme removes one of the biggest barriers to electric bus adoption, and transit agencies will now be able to modernise fleets faster and achieve their zero carbon goals sooner.
“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 programme to enable the rapid adoption and a broader commercialisation of its electric buses,” said Mitsui general manager of new business & innovation division Yosuke Matsumoto. “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 have established a programme to use batteries from the leasing programme in secondary applications after the end of their useful life in a vehicle. Proterra’s E2 battery packs are designed with secondary usage in mind, with simplified integration for easy removal and a form factor that enables repurposing.
“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,” said Proterra CEO Ryan Popple. “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.”