Biden Repeatedly Praised Electric Vehicle Maker Proterra — It Just Filed For Bankruptcy

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by K. Walker at

Only a year ago, President Biden boasted that Proterra, a company that manufactures electric buses and battery packs, was “getting us in the game” in the EV market.

It looks like that dream has fizzled now that Proterra has filed for bankruptcy.

Electric-vehicle parts supplier Proterra (PTRA.O) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Monday, making it the latest company to go belly up in an industry grappling with supply chain constraints, slowing demand, and a funding drought…

…Proterra, whose shares nearly halved in value after the bell, listed its assets and liabilities in the range of $500 million to $1 billion. The company had a market value of $362 million as of the last close. In January 2021, Proterra was valued at $1.6 billion, including debt, in a merger deal with a blank-check firm. Source: Reuters

CEO Gareth Joyce explained in a statement after the announcement that Proterra has “faced various market and macroeconomic headwinds that have impacted our ability to efficiently scale.”

Biden promoted Proterra with a virtual tour in April 2021 even though his Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm held 240,000 shares in the company.

Biden was criticized for promoting Proterra, and some critics compared it to how the Obama administration praised solar panel manufacturer Solyndra and guaranteed a $535 million loan, only for the company to later file bankruptcy.

“President Biden’s decision to heavily promote a business where his energy secretary holds a multimillion-dollar stake has all the potential to be even worse than Solyndra. President Biden and Secretary Granholm should immediately remove themselves from their glaring conflict of interest,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) told the Washington Free Beacon then.

With the Biden administration’s singular focus on axing fossil fuels and pushing “green” energy alternatives with incentives like federal grants and tax credits — including at least $5 billion in spending on electric buses alone — Proterra was poised to make a mint.

Last year, Proterra’s Chief Legal Officer, JoAnn Covington, said that Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act’s tax credits and federal grants to convert buses from diesel to electric significantly incentivized companies like Proterra. Covington also said that grants to purchase electric buses and the creation of EV charging stations would “open up opportunities to accelerate the adoption of battery-electric and zero-emissions vehicles to all the other commercial segments on the cusp of being electrified.”

In March of last year, he was still promoting Proterra, though Granholm had sold her shares in the company by then.

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