EV Maker Proterra Makes Wall Street Debut

Electric bus and vehicle company Proterra made its Wall Street debut Tuesday after its merger with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) ArcLight Clean Transition Corp.

Shares of the California company — traded under the ticker symbol PTRA— were around $17.14 in midday trading after opening at $18.52.

Burlingame-based Proterra — which has a 157,000 square foot manufacturing facility in the City of Industry east of Los Angeles — has raised more than $640 million in cash from the merger with ArcLight to fund research and development and its battery program.

The deal includes $415 million in investments from Daimler Trucks, Franklin Templeton, venture investor Chamath Palihapitiya, Fidelity Management and funds managed by BlackRock Inc.

It’s one of a string of electric vehicle companies including Fisker and Canoo cashing in on the boom in SPACs, shell companies that take startups public.

The company sees municipalities and commercial vehicle manufacturers with large fleets as the biggest clients for their battery system technology.

“Certainly, governments and communities want clean air and noise mitigation,” Proterra’s Chairman and CEO Jack Allen told investors in January. “But what ultimately wins them over is the increasing compelling total cost of ownership as battery costs continue to decline, complementing what is already a significant advantage in maintenance costs.”

Allen said the company lowered its battery cost by 86% since 2017 and its labor and overhead by 55%.