TPI Composites, which operates a large plant on Market Street in Warren, has entered into a five-year agreement with a California firm that builds high tech zero-emission electric buses, and will build several thousand high-tech composite bus bodies over the next five years.
Proterra’s “Catalyst” buses are used in dozens of cities across the country, and the deal announced last week will see 3,350 bodies produced over the duration of the contract. The bodies will be built at TPI’s existing Warren facility on Market Street, and another that will be built in Iowa. TPI is headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz.
“We are excited to expand our relationship with Proterra and to support Proterra’s continued growth in the electric bus market,” said Steve Lockard, TPI’s President and CEO.
TPI’s roots are in yachting, but the company builds a myriad of composite structures, including wind turbine blades. To that end they are a good fit for Proterra, whose buses’ composite structure utilizes a combination of materials including fiberglass and carbon fiber that enable a lightweight body structure that weighs thousands of pounds less than conventional metallic space frames.
“As cities and municipalities throughout North America transition to zero-emission buses, TPI’s expanded manufacturing footprint and advanced composites technology will help us to scale the production of our electric buses,” said Proterra CEO Ryan Popple.
TPI Composites, Inc. is the only independent manufacturer of composite wind blades for the wind energy market with a global footprint and is an innovation leader for composite structures in the transportation market.