• Silly News Story #1

    From Sean Dennis@618:618/10 to All on Thu Jul 29 12:42:10 2021
    [Your tax dollars at work. -- Sean]

    From: https://tinyurl.com/wtxtkfvz (freebeacon.com)

    Proterra Bus Fire Prompts California Agency to Consider Shelving Electric Bus

    Electric buses are melting in sun, too expensive to fix, transit official

    Matthew Foldi o July 23, 2021 4:59 am

    An electric bus manufactured by Proterra caught fire in a southern
    California city that is now considering taking the electric buses off the
    road, according to government records.

    The Foothill Transit agency, which serves the valleys surrounding Los
    Angeles, will decide on Friday whether costly Proterra buses purchased in
    the last decade are still operable. Problems [97]cited by the agency
    include not only the bus that caught fire in what's described as a
    "thermal event," but also buses that melt in the California heat and have
    transmission failures. Roland Cordero, the agency's director of
    maintenance and vehicle technology, says the problems with the buses are
    exacerbated by Proterra's inability to help with repairs.

    "With the number of failures we are experiencing and the inability of
    Proterra to provide parts, these [Battery Electric Buses] BEBs will only
    get worse as we continue to operate them whenever the BEBs are available
    for service," Cordero wrote ahead of Friday's executive board meeting,
    where the agency will debate taking Proterra buses out of service.

    The electric bus company, which has been hailed by the Biden
    administration as the future of mass transportation, has seen its stock
    plummet in the last month as reports pile up about problems with its
    product. In [98]Philadelphia, mechanical failures and weak battery
    performance forced city officials to shelve buses received as recently as
    2019. In Duluth, Minnesota, the buses were taken off the road because
    their brakes couldn't handle the city's hills. The publicly known failings
    of Proterra's buses have not deterred key members of the Biden
    administration, including the president himself, from touting the company
    on multiple occasions.

    A Foothill Transit spokeswoman initially told the Washington Free Beacon
    the "thermal event" referenced in the report refers to a Jan. 9, 2020,
    incident in which a Proterra bus caught fire while connected to its
    charger. After publication of this article, the spokeswoman corrected her
    statement to say the bus did not combust while charging.

    "I had the wrong information," the spokeswoman said in an email. "Bus 2004
    was involved in a fire NOT related to charging. The fire started from the
    right lower front dash area (near the entrance door) where the drivers
    heater/defroster area are located."

    The spokeswoman added that the Proterra bus was a Fast Charge BE35, and
    that "there is currently litigation regarding that event." The agency was
    unable to provide further information about the lawsuit.

    The agency's report complains that parts for the buses it purchased are
    "difficult to obtain" and that expired warranties force the transit agency
    to pay tens of thousands of dollars for "advanced technology parts."

    The report says some of the Proterra buses have remained out of service
    for up to 275 days due to an inability to get replacement parts.

    "As of July 7, 2021, only three of the 15 BEBs are available for service,"
    the report says. "Some of the buses have been out of service for very
    extended periods such as bus 2012 out of service for 275 days waiting for
    a part, bus 2010 out for 125 days waiting for a part, bus 2017 out for 45
    days for a bad transmission and waiting for a part."

    The report notes that Proterra's problems are unique to the electric
    vehicle buses, which have been much more trouble than the company's fleet
    of compressed natural gas-fueled rivals.

    "The plastic interior panels, front wheel well cabinets, and driver
    bulkheads in the [Proterra buses] have deformed due to exposure to heat
    and sunlight," the report notes. "We have never experienced interior panel
    deterioration in our fleet of [compressed natural gas] buses."

    Foothill Transit was one of Proterra's earliest customers, purchasing its
    first fleet of buses from the company in 2010, shortly after Proterra
    received federal money through the Obama administration's stimulus
    package. Two of the first Proterra buses acquired by the transit agency
    are now off the road and "have only been used for operator training due to
    its very poor build quality and reliability."

    A Proterra spokesman would not comment on the "thermal event," but said
    Foothill Transit's problems are with the earliest generation of the
    company's buses.

    "The technology in Proterra electric transit buses and chargers
    manufactured today is vastly different from when Foothill's initial
    vehicles were designed, manufactured, and put into service," a spokesman
    told the Free Beacon. "We are now on our fifth-generation electric transit
    bus, powered by our industry-leading battery technology."

    The "thermal event" Proterra experienced in California isn't the first
    time one of its buses melted down. In 2015, a prototype Proterra bus
    [99]exploded at the company's South Carolina facility. Fire investigators
    say the explosion likely started with the bus's tires-only one tire was
    found after the fire was extinguished. "They blew out because the bus was
    on fire," a fire department spokesman [100]said. "That caused the tires to
    blow. We don't know if the bus was the origin of the fire or if another
    origin caused the bus to catch on fire."

    The executive meeting to discuss the fate of the troubled buses is on
    Friday morning.

    Update July 26, 9:00 p.m.: This story was updated with additional comment
    from Foothill Transit regarding the cause of the bus fire.

    97. http://foothilltransit.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/07-23-2021-Agenda-Packet-Executive-Board-Meeting.pdf

    98. https://freebeacon.com/biden-administration/report-philadelphias-proterra-fleet-in-complete-shambles/

    99. https://www.greenvilleonline.com/story/news/local/2015/07/30/explosions-fire-reported-proterra-greenville/30821767/

    100. https://www.greenvilleonline.com/story/news/local/2015/07/30/explosions-fire-reported-proterra-greenville/30821767/


    -- Sean

    ... Join the army, meet interesting people, kill them.
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  • From Mike Powell@618:250/1 to SEAN DENNIS on Sat Jul 31 14:59:00 2021
    An electric bus manufactured by Proterra caught fire in a southern
    California city that is now considering taking the electric buses off the
    road, according to government records.

    I wonder if Proterra is another one of those green enery companies that got Obamabucks like Solendra did?


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  • From Sean Dennis@618:618/10 to Mike Powell on Sat Jul 31 16:50:02 2021
    Mike Powell wrote to SEAN DENNIS <=-

    I wonder if Proterra is another one of those green enery companies that got Obamabucks like Solendra did?

    Yes, in a way. From https://tinyurl.com/cad9352w (freebeacon.com) with a dateline of May 18, 2021:

    "Weeks before President Joe Biden boosted Proterra with an official tour of its plant, the electric battery company hired a pair of Obama administration alums to lobby the White House for funding, amplifying its already
    concerning political connections to the Biden administration.

    According to disclosure forms filed last Friday, the politically connected electric bus manufacturer brought on lobbying firm Boundary Stone Partners
    on April 1 to push the administration for increased funding of clean energy infrastructure projects, including the "electrification" of mass transportation vehicles. The two lobbyists registered to Proterra, Pete
    Gould and Christine Turner, both worked in the top echelons of the Obama administration-Gould was associate director of government affairs for the Department of Transportation, and Turner held numerous trade-related
    positions throughout the administration, including on the White House
    National Security Council.

    Atop the lobbying firm sits Brandon Hurlbut, who was chief of staff at the Department of Energy and a top energy adviser to Obama at the White House. Hurlbut additionally co-chaired Clean Energy for Biden, a group that raised millions of dollars for Biden's presidential campaign and is now advocating clean energy spending. Along with Hurlbut, both Gould and Turner made
    several contributions to Biden's campaign, according to campaign finance records.

    Proterra's political connections to the administration had already raised ethical flags on Capitol Hill due to the fact that Jennifer Granholm,
    Biden's energy secretary, spent years on Proterra's board and continues to
    own up to $5 million in Proterra stock. The acquisition of the former Obama officials shows Proterra has even deeper political connections than were previously known.

    The lobbying disclosure form is Boundary Stone Partners' first for Proterra, which joins a number of renewable energy companies already employing the
    firm to lobby the Biden administration. It has not yet been disclosed how
    much Proterra is paying Boundary Stone Partners. Neither responded to
    requests for comment.

    The disclosure form says Gould and Turner are lobbying on the topics of "[f]unding for transit infrastructure grants provisions related to low or no emission vehicle grant applications, clean energy and infrastructure investments, surface transportation reauthorization, vehicle fleet electrification, and manufacturing loan programs." Lobbying records show
    Gould has lobbied on similar issues for Proterra since last December as a lobbyist for a different firm, Catapult Policy Strategies, which he left to join Boundary Stone Partners.

    Just 19 days after the firm was brought on, Biden and his top economic
    adviser Brian Deese toured Proterra and pledged that the administration's infrastructure plan would direct money to the company.

    It is more than likely that Hurlbut directly engaged with Proterra as a
    member of the Obama administration. In his official Boundary Stone Partners biography, he boasts that he led the Obama administration's deployment of
    $90 billion worth of clean energy grants through the stimulus package. Proterra says its first electric bus was manufactured in 2009 due to government funds it received from the Obama administration.

    The administration's promotion of Proterra has sparked conflict of interest concerns from Republican senators, who have called for investigations into Granholm's planned divestment from the company. Financial disclosures show
    the former Proterra board member still holds up to $5 million in company stock. Granholm has repeatedly said she is in the process of offloading the shares and that she has recused herself from any issues regarding the

    Senators have raised questions about how her complete separation is
    possible, given Granholm's leadership on the issue of electric batteries. Biden signed an executive order that placed Granholm in charge of
    "identifying risks in the supply chain for high-capacity batteries,
    including electric-vehicle batteries, and policy recommendations to address these risks."

    Under Granholm, the Department of Energy is slated to dole out millions of dollars to "support improvements in domestic manufacturing to build
    resilient, modern electricity infrastructure and address the climate emergency."

    During the 2020 election cycle, employees of Boundary Stone Partners gave at least $27,000 to Biden's campaign and related entities, including the Biden Victory Fund, according to FEC records.

    The White House did not respond to a request for comment about whether Proterra hiring the Obama alums played any role in the administration's repeated boosts of the company."

    -- Sean

    ... I got lost in thought. I was in unfamiliar territory.
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  • From Lux@618:300/10 to Sean Dennis on Sat Jul 31 21:57:34 2021
    Proterra Bus Fire Prompts California Agency to Consider Shelving Electric

    Should have chosen Tesla as the bus builder. Also a better choice for USPS long term service vehicles.

    Seeing the information in the CanBus in a Tesla system is MINDMELTING!
    The only thing catching fire would be your brain trying to keep up with the monitoring segment alone.

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