Revolving Door: LaHood Joins Board of Electric Car Battery Company He Championed as Transportation Secretary

Ray LaHood
Ray LaHood / Wikimedia Commons

Former Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood joined the Board of Directors of Proterra Inc., a battery-electric transit bus manufacturer that LaHood championed as a member of President Barack Obama’s cabinet.

Proterra made the announcement on Tuesday, adding that LaHood "can offer insight into so many of the key issues facing our industry."

As transportation secretary, LaHood wrote a post titled "Winning the Future, Proterra Style" on the White House blog about a visit he made to South Carolina to tour Proterra, a company he said could "out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build their competition."

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LaHood explained that Proterra was a troubled company before Obama’s Department of Transportation came to its support with a grant program.

"In 2009, Proterra did not have the financial resources or customer orders to commercialize its fast charge battery bus and charging station," wrote LaHood. "But with help from Department of Transportation grants to transit agencies across the country, Proterra has been able to make that leap."

"With its plans for a new manufacturing plant, we know that Proterra's big dreaming hasn't stopped," wrote LaHood. "As President Obama said, there's a future to win; Proterra has already gotten started."