Eric McCarthy, Commission on U.S. Transportation Sector Efficiency

On September 26, in the Rayburn House Office Building, at the Commission on U.S. Transportation Sector Efficiency, Proterra’s Eric McCarthy discussed why electrifying public transportation is so important.



This truly is a transformational time for how we move people and how we move goods. So we jumped at the chance to be part of this Commission, because we wanted heavy duty electrification, heavy-duty EV vehicles to have a place at the table.

One stat that you may not be aware about is we have surpassed one percent of new sales on the light-duty side. We are nearing ten percent in terms of new sales electric buses for new public transits.

So this has happened. And it's happening now in major cities throughout the country are declaring by a date certain we will have fully electrified our bus fleets. So it's, again, it's just an exciting time to be a part of this space.

There are a number of factors at play as to why this is happening so quickly. We have more and more people moving into cities, putting pressure on mayors and councilmen and councilwomen to invest in better forms of public transportation. And buses become an easy answer, an easy solution for that.

A lot of attention being showered on emissions, GHG, the United States’ decision not to join the Paris Accord, and what cities are doing at a local level to tackle those problems. We are seeing a lot more money invested in state, local, and federal in public transportation. Including voucher programs and other competitive brand programs that are enticing cities to experiment with advanced technologies.

“So all of these factors are at play. And throw on top of that the fact that prices for batteries are coming down. Which allows companies like ours to sell buses at price parity technologies.”