Phoenix Motor Expands: Acquiring Proterra's Electric Bus Division
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Phoenix Motor Expands: Acquiring Proterra’s Electric Bus Division

Image showcasing Proterra Transit ZX5 electric bus
  • Phoenix Motor ventures into electric bus market by acquiring Proterra Transit
  • Proterra’s difficulties don’t overshadow the electric bus industry’s potential.
  • Phoenix Motor’s CEO, Denton Peng, sees growth opportunities in electric buses.

In a strategic move aimed at accelerating its presence in the electric transit industry, Phoenix Motor has successfully gained approval from the US bankruptcy court for the integration of Proterra Transit’s heavy-duty electric bus into its product portfolio. This development comes in the wake of Proterra’s recent challenges and bankruptcy filing, which were attributed to supply chain complications and funding issues rather than industry viability concerns. Phoenix Motor’s CEO, Denton Peng, expressed enthusiasm for the acquisition, highlighting the potential for growth as the company expands its offerings to include electric transit buses.


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The company has expressed that its next step is integrating the Proterra Transit team and assets into its operations. Phoenix has been operating two primary brands: Phoenix Motorcars, which emphasizes commercial medium-duty EVs such as electric shuttle buses, school buses, municipal transit vehicles, and delivery trucks, including EV chargers and electric forklifts, and the light-duty EV line EdisonFuture.

“Phoenix is very pleased to have completed its acquisition of the Proterra Transit business and thanks all parties for their tireless efforts over the past several months to make this possible. Proterra has a strong position in the full-size, zero-emission transit bus market, just as Phoenix has in the medium-duty market. Having spent countless hours meeting with Proterra Transit team members and learning more about their business, we are more excited than ever about this acquisition opportunity,” said Denton Peng, CEO of Phoenix. “We have already identified attractive growth opportunities as we add transit buses to our product offering, and we look forward to servicing Proterra Transit’s existing customers and developing long-term relationships with them.”

Image showcasing Proterra Transit ZX5 electric bus

In August 2023, Proterra consolidated its battery and bus production at its South Carolina facility. The company made job cuts as a cost-saving measure. However, Proterra filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company said complications in the supply chain, funding issues, and the necessary capital required for scaling caused the failure. Subsequently, in November, Volvo Group emerged victorious in an auction for Proterra’s battery business with a bid of $210 million.

Critics of transportation electrification viewed Proterra’s bankruptcy as a sign that the heavy-duty electric transportation business is not viable. This was not the case. Proterra went bankrupt because of funding issues and supply chain problems. Experts anticipate that Phoenix will succeed with its acquired Proterra heavy-duty electric bus assets.


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FEATURE IMAGE: PROTERRA

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AUTHOR: 

BILL PIERCE

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