Greenville plant unveils 1st SC-made electric bus

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) — An electric bus manufacturer has publicly unveiled its first Greenville-made bus, sending the unit to Pennsylvania for further testing.

Proterra LLC on Thursday sent its first bus to the Altoona Bus Research and Testing Center at Penn State University to complete testing required to unlock federal subsidies for bus purchases.

The EcoRide BE35 rolled off Proterra’s temporary Greenville assembly line in December and has been tested locally since then.

Proterra’s lead investor became the focus of a fraud investigation, which restricted money the company could spend. CEO Jeff Granato says the company now has a verbal $30 million agreement with new investors.

Proterra plans to build a permanent facility at Clemson University’s International Center for Automotive Research campus. U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood visited the company’s temporary plant in January.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All rights reserved.)