Report: Bus Fire Causes California Agency to Consider Retiring Electric Buses

Bus Fire

An electric bus made by Proterra went up in flames while charging in a California city that is reportedly thinking about removing the electric buses from the road.

The Washington Free Beacon reported Friday:

The Foothill Transit agency, which serves the valleys surrounding Los Angeles, will decide on Friday whether costly Proterra buses purchased in the last decade are still operable. Problems cited by the agency include not only the bus that caught fire in what’s described as a “thermal event,” but also buses that melt in the California heat and have transmission failures. Roland Cordero, the agency’s director of maintenance and vehicle technology, says the problems with the buses are exacerbated by Proterra’s inability to help with repairs.

“With the number of failures we are experiencing and the inability of Proterra to provide parts, these [Battery Electric Buses] BEBs will only get worse as we continue to operate them whenever the BEBs are available for service,” Cordero wrote prior to Friday’s executive board meeting.

According to the Proterra website, its vehicles have “proven themselves through more than 20 million miles of service in communities across North America, operating at a lower overall cost than a 35- or 40-foot diesel, hybrid, or CNG transit vehicle.”

However, the electric bus company that has been praised by President Joe Biden’s administration watched its stock drop over the past month due to reports of problems with its product, the Beacon article continued:

In Philadelphia, mechanical failures and weak battery performance forced city officials to shelve buses received as recently as 2019. In Duluth, Minnesota, the buses were taken off the road because their brakes couldn’t handle the city’s hills. The publicly known failings of Proterra’s buses have not deterred key members of the Biden administration, including the president himself, from touting the company on multiple occasions.

A Foothill Transit spokeswoman said the “thermal event” noted in the report referred to a January 2020 incident when a Proterra bus caught fire while connected to a charger.

“The agency’s report complains that parts for the buses it purchased are ‘difficult to obtain’ and that expired warranties force the transit agency to pay tens of thousands of dollars for ‘advanced technology parts,'” the Beacon article said.

Meanwhile, Breitbart News reported in May watchdog group Protect the Public’s Trust said there were still unanswered questions following Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm’s sale of her massive holdings in Proterra.


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