Electric busmaker Proterra gears up for new market: commercial trucks

Electric bus maker Proterra is looking to sell its vehicle battery systems, powertrain tech and charging infrastructure to some new buyers: commercial truck and heavy-duty vehicle makers. It marks a brand new business line for the company — “Proterra Powered” — but it builds on its previous work developing vehicles with partners, such as Daimler’s Thomas Built electric school buses and Van Hool’s electric motor coaches.

Tesla used to do something similar in its early days (with Toyota, Daimler and others), but gave up most of these projects as it moved toward focusing solely on vertical integration and making its own vehicles. Fittingly, the new Proterra business line is led by Tesla alum Toby Kraus (many Proterra employees come by way of Tesla, including Proterra CEO Ryan Popple).