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GSCW chat: Proterra buying and selling into a broken supply chain

Company focused on bringing key component manufacturing onshore

FreightWaves Detroit Bureau Chief Alan Adler discussed onshoring of critical electric components with Gareth Joyce, CEO of Proterra Inc.., during Auto Day of Global Supply chain Week.

This fireside chat is from Auto Day of FreightWaves’ Global Supply Chain Week. Day 4 focuses on truck manufacturers, suppliers and advanced technologies.

FIRESIDE CHAT TOPIC: Scaling critical electrification components in a supply chain crisis

DETAILS: From running the $1 billion sustainability effort at Delta Airlines just two years ago, Gareth Joyce joined and quickly moved up to CEO at electric bus and battery maker Proterra Inc. He is now guiding Proterra’s effort to reach scale as a supplier and consumer of electrification components.

SPEAKER: Gareth Joyce, CEO, Proterra Inc.

BIO: Joyce joined Proterra in 2020 as president of Proterra Powered and Energy, applying his background in sustainability leadership. He was promoted to president of the growth-stage company before assuming his current role in January.  Before Delta, Joyce held a variety of senior leadership positions with Mercedes-Benz throughout South Africa, Europe and North America, including CEO of Mercedes-Benz Canada. 


“On the one hand as a manufacturer of our own transit bus, we’re an OEM. On the other hand, one of the strategic decisions we made in our business some years ago was to establish our own technology around the battery, and we realized we had a very capable battery for commercial vehicle applications. We have a unique perspective on the market because we’re a supplier to ourselves.”

“We have a rich desire at Proterra to see the supply chain developed within the U.S. to support electrification. So, it’s not just about [battery] cell supply. We have to go further than that because this is an industry that is going to develop over the next two to three decades. so there’s a great opportunity for us to develop independence of supply risk outside of the U.S. early on and grow our capabilities.”

“Independence of the supply chain right up to the raw materials is critical. To have any single country around the world holding dominant control over raw materials that go into an industry — in this case electric vehicles — puts you at risk. If we can develop and mature the industry here in the U.S., obviously it shortens the supply chain and de-risks some of the challenges we’ve seen over the past 12 to 24 months for freight capacity.”

One Comment

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Alan Adler

Alan Adler is an award-winning journalist who worked for The Associated Press and the Detroit Free Press. He also spent two decades in domestic and international media relations and executive communications with General Motors.