Electric Bus Maker Proterra to Supply Daimler’s Freightliner Unit

With the focus on automakers divided between lowering emissions and producing self-driving vehicles, public transport manufacturers have also had to adapt their buses to reduce emissions. Proterra, a bus manufacturer famous for its electric motors, is partnering with German automaker Daimler to develop zero-emission buses for their Freightliner department. While Proterra will not be making the buses themselves, the company will be supplying the technological know-how as well as the components for the vehicles as well. Proterra’s vehicles have traditionally been light-chassis transportation while Daimler intends to leverage the technology in heavy-chassis buses.

Electric Commercial Vehicles making an Impact

There has been a surge in recent months for automakers that produce delivery vehicles to lean towards electric motors. As automakers start becoming more aware of how their products affect the environment, many of them are choosing to change their fuel system to compensate for carbon emissions. Proterra’s vehicle system is similar to the design that Amazon will be using in their electric vehicles. The difference is that the power output will have to be scaled up for use in heavy-chassis vehicles like Daimler’s buses. The German manufacturer is currently a shareholder in Proterra, which has successfully supplied over nine hundred electric buses to transit agencies around the world. The upfront costs for these vehicles are significantly higher than diesel models (as much as 50% more), but the longer they remain on the road, the more money they save in operating costs over diesel buses.

Larger Revenue Opportunities Await

Proterra’s decision to partner with Daimler opens up a new market for the company to explore. The commercial class transportation market is potentially far more profitable than the public transportation market. If this technology collaboration works, Proterra could have other auto manufacturers looking to leverage their technology as well. With an increased focus on zero-emission vehicles high on the list of private industry’s priorities, this might be the perfect time for Proterra to show off their tech and garner admirers within the private sector, which may translate into increased income in the long term.