USA: Former Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood has joined electric bus manufacturer Proterra in a senior position.
According to Proterra, LaHood’s government experience and leadership in transport policy innovation make him an excellent fit. Prior to serving as Secretary of Transportation, he served on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee for six years and on the House Appropriations Committee for nearly eight years, giving him strong knowledge of the transportation sector and of the funding issues at play in the industry. During his time as Secretary, LaHood was an avid supporter of EV transit, leading the Federal Transit Administration’s Clean Fuels Program, which was used to help fund the purchase of EV buses by several cities across the country. He also visited Proterra in early 2011, calling the bus manufacturer “a model for the rest of the country.”
“I believe in the need for dependable, lower cost, more sustainable transit options,” said LaHood. “EV is the future of transit, and I am pleased to lend my knowledge and support to building this future with Proterra – the clear industry leader and the only American EV bus manufacturer.”
“We are incredibly fortunate to work with an expert like Secretary LaHood, who can offer insight into so many of the key issues facing our industry,” said Garrett Mikita, President and Chief Executive officer, Proterra Inc. “He is a true and long-standing supporter of cost effective and sustainable transportation and an advocate of both transit agencies and manufacturers. We look forward to having the benefit of his wisdom and counsel as we work to advance the American transportation system and enable better solutions for taxpayers in transit.”
The move has seen sectors of the US press regard it as ‘cronyism in action’ after La Hood had heaped praise and millions of dollars in federal subsidies on the company.