Biden-backed electric vehicle company files for bankruptcy


By Paul Homewood

Another Solyndra!

President Biden frequently extolled an electric vehicle company — in which his energy secretary heavily invested — before it declared bankruptcy on Monday.

Bay Area-based electric bus and battery maker Proterra filed for Chapter 11, with CEO Gareth Joyce citing “various market and macroeconomic headwinds that have impacted our ability to efficiently scale.”

The EV firm, which sold more than 1,300 electric buses to public transit systems in the US and Canada, was valued at $1.6 billion when Biden, 80, took office in January 2021 — but closed with a market value of $362 million, according to Reuters.

In 2021, the president pledged more than $10 billion from his $1.9 trillion bipartisan infrastructure plan toward zero-emission transit and school bus programs.

He has promoted Proterra several times since taking office, and once virtually toured a facility.

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm raked in $1.6 million in profit after selling hundreds of thousands of shares in May 2021, months after she had first pledged to do so.

“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.”

At the time of the tour, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm held between $1 million and $5 million in stock of the electric vehicle company, The Washington Free Beacon reported, prompting ethics concerns and calls for her divestment.

Granholm raked in $1.6 million in profit after selling hundreds of thousands of shares in May 2021, months after she had first pledged to do so. She served on Proterra’s board from February 2017 until just before her Senate confirmation hearing in January 2021.

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.

According to WHYY, sources familiar with the situation blamed a defect in the buses’ plastic chassis that led to cracking.

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Sweet Old Bob
August 12, 2023 6:07 pm

Like O said : Joe can eff up anything !


Bryan A
Reply to  Sweet Old Bob
August 12, 2023 8:15 pm

Joe backs Losers and Losers back Joe

Reply to  Bryan A
August 13, 2023 7:49 am

Speaking of losers: Jennifer Granholm

Even though she may have pocket $1.6 million plus via insider trading (to say nothing about her outright conflict of interest), she still qualifies as 100% loser.

Reply to  Sweet Old Bob
August 13, 2023 9:01 am

The Great Obomba did have bankrupt Solyndra……but all demrat Presidents rate an F……for Failure.

John the Econ
August 12, 2023 6:18 pm

This administration is awesome at making billions of taxpayer dollars of disappear while their personal fortunes continue to increase. That’s the reality of Bidenomics.

Reply to  John the Econ
August 12, 2023 11:47 pm

He had a good tutor in Obama

Reply to  John the Econ
August 13, 2023 9:21 am

Why do the masses tolerate this blindingly obvious deceit and malfeasance? What happened to honesty, integrity and professionalism? How has society been allowed to be corrupted in such hubris fashion?

John the Econ
Reply to  Energywise
August 13, 2023 10:16 am

The failure of “education”, for starters.

Reply to  John the Econ
August 14, 2023 12:12 am

Failure of the supposed 5th Estate – journalism! It’s supposed to root out incompetence and corruption but for the past ~4 decades it has been a propaganda machine for left-wing good, conservative evil stupidity.

We are drowning in lies.

Tom Halla
August 12, 2023 6:32 pm

Yet another way for transit busses to fail. Lacking sufficient strength is at least safer than spontaneously catching fire.

Reply to  Tom Halla
August 13, 2023 9:26 am

Yes, 60 combusted passengers, regularly, would make even the most hardened greenie question the cults ambitions, wouldn’t it?

Reply to  Energywise
August 14, 2023 12:16 am

Maybe, maybe not – most greenies if not all also believe in the boogie-man story of overpopulation, so exploding, burning busses covers co2 and overpopulation – as long as you don’t care about the rear pollution of burning plastics and other toxic chemicals.

John Aqua
August 12, 2023 6:45 pm

EV! No Go! They don’t work in the cold; they cannot tow much; charging is a b*&^%; the auto industry loses millions of $’s on them even though they cost more than an ICE. They won’t save the planet as if it needs saving. The negatives list is growing by the day. The only supporter of the things on this website is Nick Pick.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  John Aqua
August 13, 2023 5:24 am

I’m starting to see articles every day now telling us how bad the electric car market is. EV’s are stacking up in parking lots all over the place.

The government and the cowtowing/clueless car manufacturers decided how the EV market would unfold, but the market seems to be rearing its beautiful head right now and is going against the command economy envisioned by the bureaucrats, politicians, and car manufacturers.

Electrifying the entire transportation sector is not practical. EV’s are a “niche” product, not ready for mass introduction. If the car companies mass produce them, they are going to lose money.

I’m sticking with gasoline-powered vehicles. As are most people. As the market is demonstrating.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
August 13, 2023 9:35 am

Well said Tom – battery vehicles are engineeringly incompetent for transport as early buyers are experiencing – they are however the green blobs solution to grid demand support, the large scale storage their ruinous renewables need – as you sleep, believing your battery vehicle to be charging ready for morning, you will awake to a flat, or still charging battery because the grid it’s plugged into, decided to take its charge via the V2G system to keep the lights on – for stupidity and hubris, it’s a win/win

Reply to  John Aqua
August 13, 2023 9:29 am

And when renewables ruined grids have starved the batteries of charge to help grid demand (V2G), they won’t be running anywhere

Steve Case
August 12, 2023 7:45 pm

There is a niche for some electric vehicles, but busses, pick-up trucks, dump trucks and cars for that great American road trip to Yellowstone aren’t it.

Reply to  Steve Case
August 12, 2023 10:19 pm

Yep, and here is that niche market, the good old, still to be seen on British roads, milk delivery van:

Reply to  Redge
August 13, 2023 2:08 am

I used to drive one of those when I was a lad doing a milk round. It’s one of the reasons I can’t see myself owning an EV now, I would just be transported back to that time with the only difference is that I would now have doors to keep the weather out. My funniest moments were when a dozy half a sleep milkman would start his early morning shift by forgetting to unplug the charger cable and reverse the milk float across the yard dragging a rather large battery charger behind it or the walk of shame when another forgot to plug his in at the end of the last shift and having to ask the yard foreman to use the spare float. I never thought back then (some 50 years ago) that EV’s would be a thing, I thought we would be driving flying cars. Happy days, full of hope, unlike the youth of today.

Reply to  galileo62
August 13, 2023 2:55 am

I think that those used lead-acid batteries. Reliable, (relatively) inexpensive and heavy. On the other hand, if you are going to operate a battery-powered vehicle a milk truck is the ideal candidate — standard route and home to charge every night.

Use a ton of batteries to deliver a ton of milk — or thereabouts.

Reply to  rovingbroker
August 13, 2023 11:09 am

Yes, lead acid batteries which reminds me was one of my maintenance duties in topping them up each Saturday with distilled water. I know the modern EV is very different animal from the old milk floats (I think some of the 4 wheel variety floats could reach 30mph unladen!) But there’s nothing more boring than sat there with just a throttle (or what ever you call it on an EV?) to play with. At least doing a milk round you knew that you had enough juice to get you back to the yard (if you had remembered to plug it in the day before).

Bryan A
Reply to  Redge
August 13, 2023 8:02 am

Here is their other niche
comment image

Reply to  Redge
August 13, 2023 9:35 am

Or golf carts

August 12, 2023 8:33 pm

Even with government subsidies and mandates, most of the EV manufacturers are loosing money.

Steve Case
Reply to  MarkW
August 12, 2023 9:06 pm

See my post above, EV manufacturers are building vehicles that are impractical. The CEOs of these companies need marketing managers who know what they are doing. So far marketing managers are being bypassed or are stupid.

Reply to  Steve Case
August 13, 2023 1:28 am

Some of the CEOs know very well what they are doing, they are raking in the subsidies while they are available.

Steve Case
Reply to  Oldseadog
August 13, 2023 3:46 am

That would be bypassing the marketing manager.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  Oldseadog
August 14, 2023 8:35 am

“Some of the CEOs know what they are doing”

Back in Jan 2023 the CEO of Kia in the UK said

“A mass market in affordable electric cars will not happen because of the difficulty of producing them on a viable basis” (Times Jan 23, 2023)

Reply to  MarkW
August 13, 2023 9:41 am

That’s why the blob want to force you into a battery vehicle, even though common sense, cost, range, practicality, child slave labour, environmental damage, road wear, multi storey car park and bridge weight limits, tyre wear and brake particulate pollution, V2G battery drain, smart meter remote cut off, engineering competence, self combustion risk and high insurance, are against it

August 12, 2023 9:57 pm

Was Hunter Biden on the board of directors?

Reply to  Eric Worrall
August 12, 2023 10:09 pm

Of course not. As a CA based company, their DC drones had to be approved by the Pelosi clan. The Pelosi cabal works with the other familia, but that doesn’t mean they share.

Gregg Eshelman
August 12, 2023 11:41 pm

How do you run a successful electric bus service? Ask Chattanooga, TN. Aside from startup funds from the federal government in 1992, the service providing free rides around the downtown loop and across the river has been funded by donations (boxes at both stations and on the shuttle buses) and a cut of pay parking lot charges.

The city has worked hand in hand with the manufacturer of the buses over the years to develop and improve them. They started with lead-acid batteries, switched to nickel-metal-hydride, and by the mid-2010’s had changed most of the fleet to lithium-ion. I wouldn’t be surprised to find they’re changing to lithium-iron-phosphate as busses need overhauled or replaced.

The early buses that used lead-acid batteries couldn’t complete a full shift on one charge so the station at the former railroad station had a quick battery swap system. That went unused with the change to NiMh batteries that could run a full shift on one charge or only needed a quick top up. The Li-Ion batteries could easily run a full shift on one charge. Changing to Li-Fe-Po4 would further improve performance because they could use half the weight of battery for the same usable amount of power storage, or about double the range with the same weight of battery.

Unlike other chemistries, Li-Fe-Po4 can be drained to nearly 0% and can be charged to 100% and held there long term without damaging the batteries. The other chemistries can realistically only utilize 30% to 50% of their total capacity without being damaged due to being discharged too much or being held for too long at 100%.

Toyota’s use of NiMh in the Prius caps the maximum charge to 80% while limiting the discharge to 20%. That “shallow cycling” improves the longevity of the battery by not stressing it in either direction.

NEXcell developed a Li-Fe-Po4 replacement for Prius (and most other Toyota and other brands of hybrids using the same modules) that “tricks” the vehicle’s charge controller into charging it to 100% and discharging nearly to 0%. For a 2nd gen Prius (2004-2009) that equates to more *usable* capacity despite the lower total capacity *and* weighs 40 pounds less. Thus the car can run the engine less and 40 pounds less weight also helps use less fuel.

Add the EV switch to a North American 2nd gen Prius and the NEXcell battery will run it on electric power 7 miles or more. The NiMh stock battery will only go 3 to 5 miles.

Chattanooga could drastically improve their shuttle bus performance with a switch to Lithium-Iron-Phosphate.

Reply to  Gregg Eshelman
August 13, 2023 3:02 am

There’s nothing wrong with battery-electric vehicles as long as they charge at “home” and are “home” every night. And are reliable and cost competitive.

Steve Case
Reply to  rovingbroker
August 13, 2023 3:55 am

Cost competitive is the issue. What you’re describing is the convenience issue. An electric commuter car fits your description. Not ever having to gas up your car in bad weather is a plus. Is a quiet high performance maintenance free ride to work every day worth the extra cost of an electric?

Reply to  Steve Case
August 13, 2023 5:38 am

That’s what I wonder about.

Several years ago, Chattanooga had about a $billion in long term debt, however, I can’t seem to find out how it’s being financed in the current budgets that are posted online. Anyway, it’s common for cities to take advantage of federal programs and transfer debt in this manner. “Free” money encourages wastes, while politicians still make money on stock deals with companies that ultimately go bankrupt.

Reply to  rovingbroker
August 13, 2023 7:58 am

“There’s nothing wrong with battery-electric vehicles as long as . . .”

I disagree . . . there’s plenty WRONG with BEVs when they need taxpayer-funded subsidies in order to be sold and when they consume a significant portion of the Biden/Democrat-fronted , taxpayer-funded “Infrastructure Bill” to emplace a nationwide network of EV charging stations that will benefit less than 10% of automobile drivers over the next 10 years.

And I need not even mention the looming environmental disaster of having to dispose of toxic used EV battery packs over the next ten years . . . but I just did!

Dave Andrews
Reply to  Gregg Eshelman
August 14, 2023 8:54 am

As long as Chattanooga doesn’t mind being totally reliant on China for batteries (and possibly vehicles). According to the IEA c. 95% of such batteries were produced in China in 2022 and went into vehicles made there. (IEA Global EV Outlook 2023)

August 12, 2023 11:55 pm

A cluster of crooks. Ol’ Joe seems to attract them.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Keitho
August 13, 2023 5:34 am

Birds of a feather, flock together.

August 13, 2023 12:20 am

Biden didn’t invest his money. What does he care?

August 13, 2023 1:09 am

“various market and macroeconomic headwinds that have impacted our ability to efficiently scale.”

Translated to normal speak means we have run out of other people’s money to pay our massive salaries and share options.

Tom Abbott
August 13, 2023 4:54 am

From the article: “The EV firm, which sold more than 1,300 electric buses to public transit systems in the US and Canada,”

I wonder who is going to service those 1,300 buses?

Reply to  Tom Abbott
August 13, 2023 5:44 am

In some cases they just have to shovel up the ashes.

Tom Abbott
August 13, 2023 5:08 am

From the article: “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.”

No, Joe, we don’t want any more of this.

Joe is going to end up destroying our future if he continues along this path to stop oil and gas and coal.

Joe is a fool. A dangerous fool, because he thinks he is the smartest guy in the room. He’s not alone in having this problem, but, unfortunately, he is president, which makes all the difference in the world. So you can’t tell him anything.

Let’s hope he has only one term, or less. I’m not sure he’s going to make it to the next election. He may have to resign for “health” reasons, depending on what Republican House investigators turn up on him.

Tom Abbott
August 13, 2023 5:11 am

From the article: “At the time of the tour, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm held between $1 million and $5 million in stock of the electric vehicle company, The Washington Free Beacon reported, prompting ethics concerns and calls for her divestment.

Granholm raked in $1.6 million in profit after selling hundreds of thousands of shares in May 2021, months after she had first pledged to do so. She served on Proterra’s board from February 2017 until just before her Senate confirmation hearing in January 2021.”

Not much cronyism going on here!

Too bad Granholm was forced to sell. I would have enjoyed it much more if she were still holding the now-worthless stock.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
August 13, 2023 7:07 pm

Nah, things don’t work that way in D.C., Tom. Granholm would have gotten advance information that the share price was going to take a hit on negative news for the company, then she would have sold her shares before said hit took place. Just look into Nancy Pelosi and her husband’s investments for a good guide on how this works for the connected D.C. scumbags.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Independent
August 14, 2023 4:52 am

You’re correct. Granholm is an insider, so she gets insider news.

Reply to  Independent
August 14, 2023 10:41 am

Our resident Leftist troll Simon will come along soon to assert that Pelosi and her husband are investment geniuses rather than insider traders.

Ronald Stein
August 13, 2023 5:49 am

A prelude to coming attractions for the auto industry.

Please enjoy the educational, and entertaining 40-minute Armando Cavanha Podcast discussion with Ronald Stein about the “Unsold electric cars that may be signaling a death spiral for the auto industry”.

Reply to  Ronald Stein
August 13, 2023 10:29 am

Ford plans to make up the loses on volume, apparently.

Coach Springer
August 13, 2023 5:52 am

Funny how Jennifer made money on a failed company, isn’t it?

PS. They’d have got more hits if they had made the headline about that. Anothter Solyndra is both old news and another broken egg in the omelette.

Reply to  Coach Springer
August 13, 2023 7:09 pm

They do it all the time. Look at who got rich via Obama’s “stimulus” funding scores of failed companies – surprise, surprise, the company execs (a/k/a Dem donors/friends/family) made out like bandits while sticking it to the taxpayer. Or you can go the route of Bernie Sanders’ wife, who bankrupted an historic college in Vermont for her ill-gotten gains. Really, these people have no shame.

August 13, 2023 7:45 am

Granholm evidently participated in a government subsidized ‘pump and dump’ stock sale. CNBC’s Jim Cramer must be green with envy…

August 13, 2023 8:28 am

Ford ain’t far behind. Time for stockholders to shut down all this EV bullshyte!

Reply to  2hotel9
August 13, 2023 10:31 am

It doesn’t bode well when they lose $60K on the average EV sale and some of those vehicles price out at over $100K.

August 13, 2023 9:12 am

There appears to be lots of politicians & elites benefitting from the dodgy green crap – maybe, to them, that outweighs the fact they are useless and impoverishing to the masses they are being foisted on
That old saying ‘follow the money’ is a guiding light to the truth

Rud Istvan
August 13, 2023 9:37 am

Proterra never made much sense.

OTOH, hybrid city transit busses do. Broward County is now buying them almost exclusively for in city routes, but not for between city routes where some highways get up to 55-65mph.City transit busses never get much above 35mph, and it’s about half start and stop. So downsize the diesel for 35mph, use hybrid function for start acceleration and regen braking on stop. Another advantage is brakes only need redo at 100k miles rather than every 25k. Traction battery life of 10-12 years matches the average life of a city transit bus.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
August 13, 2023 10:33 am

That makes sense. I guess that’s why Biden attacks hybrids.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
August 14, 2023 6:06 am

Interesting points!! The continuing failures of EV’s serve to focus on the positives of hybrid vehicles.

FEDGOV and state governments will still ban hybrids, however.

August 13, 2023 2:14 pm

I wonder of this will make news in cities that purchased these buses. I doubt it.

City of Boulder, Colorado, Via Partner for Electric Bus Rollout – Zero Emissions – Metro Magazine (

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