Despite taxpayer subsidies, electric vehicle company championed by Biden files for bankruptcy

by WorldTribune Staff, August 9, 2023

An electric vehicle company which received millions in taxpayer subsidies and was championed by Joe Biden has filed for bankruptcy.

Proterra announced on Monday that it had filed for Chapter 11 protection.

The 25 all-electric buses Philadelphia bought from Proterra were soon taken out of service due to reported defects.

“We have faced various market and macroeconomic headwinds that have impacted our ability to efficiently scale,” CEO Gareth Joyce said in a statement. Proterra marked a first-quarter 2023 net loss of $244 million.

Proterra manufactures electric buses out of its South Carolina facility, where Biden received a virtual tour in 2021.

The EV firm, which sold more than 1,300 electric buses to public transit systems in the U.S. and Canada, was valued at $1.6 billion when Biden took office in January 2021. It closed on Monday with a market value of $362 million, according to Reuters.

Philadelphia purchased a fleet of Proterra buses in 2019 that had to be taken out of service in February of the following year due to defects, the local National Public Radio affiliate reported.

In a recent appearance at the Heritage Foundation, founder and chairman of Continental Resources Harold Hamm, who pioneered horizontally drilled wells and hydraulic fracturing to extract shale oil, addressed the state of U.S. energy independence and the role of government subsidies:

Harold Hamm, Chairman of Continental Resources, Inc., speaking recently at the Heritage Foundation.

“There are so much dollars going out. We can talk about one solar company in existence today. Their market cap is 10 and a half billion dollars. Ninety-five percent of that revenue is from subsidies. Think about that. Where does that come from? That’s all you. Is that kind of unfair? … [U.S. government subsidies for alternative energy is just to help them get started and temporary] Right? Wrong.”

In 2021, Biden pledged more than $10 billion from his $1.9 trillion bipartisan infrastructure plan toward zero-emission transit and school bus programs. “Right now we’re running way behind China, but you guys are getting us in the game,” Biden said in April 2021. “We’re going to end up owning the future, I think, if we keep doing what we’re doing.”

In February, Biden appointed Joyce to the White House’s Export Council, which advises on matters of overseas trade.

In announcing Joyce’s appointment, Team Biden hailed the CEO for “growing Proterra’s EV battery manufacturing footprint in the United States and accelerating the transition of transit and other commercial vehicles to zero emission solutions.”

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