GreenPower Sells Third Electric Vehicle to UCLA

By Bruce Harpham Monday, December 7, 2020

GreenPower Motor Company has sold a third electric vehicle to the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). UCLA bought electric mini-shuttle buses to move patients around the campus. The purchase will help UCLA make progress toward its zero-emissions goal.

How UCLA Got $160,000 for the Purchase

Buying electric vehicles remains expensive. Fortunately, UCLA had a unique opportunity to ease the cost of buying from GreenPower Motor Company. Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust for California has $423 million in funding to mitigate environmental trust. The program was established in response to VW's illegal emissions testing devices in some VW diesel vehicles. Through this program, UCLA obtained $160,000 in funding, which helped it to buy the vehicle.

Established in 2018, the VW trust represents a significant economic opportunity for California's environmental and green energy entrepreneurs. If you have a relevant product such as zero-emissions transit and buses, trucks, freight vehicles, and marine products, encouraging a customer to apply to the trust may help you close the sale faster.

Inside GreenPower's Funding and Revenue

GreenPower started in 2007 and has achieved some impressive achievements since then. The company received $80,000 in a seed funding round in 2014. In August 2020, the company went public on the Nasdaq exchange trading under the GP stock ticker. In its IPO, GreenPower raised nearly $40 million to grow its operations.

In the quarter ending in September 2020, the company had $2.84 million in revenue, up from $2.27 million in the quarter ending in June 2020. Like many young technology companies, GreenPower is currently reporting a loss. In the quarter ending in September 2020, Green Power's net income was negative $1.49 million. The company's stock began trading at $20, and it closed at $19.14 on December 3.

The pandemic is expected to negatively impact the company because governments and other buyers may have less budget to buy higher-priced electric vehicles.

How GreenPower Partners With Large Companies

Building electric vehicles is challenging, even if you have Tesla's deep pockets. GreenPower shows that there is another way to compete in the electric vehicle. You don't have to develop and build every component yourself. Green Power uses Siemens or TM4 for the drive motors. For brakes, the company works with Knorr. The electric vehicle's axles come from ZF. The control and dash systems come from Parker. By assembling parts from multiple suppliers, GreenPower simplifies the process of building electric vehicles.

Green Power's Three Electric Vehicles

GreenPower currently offers three electric vehicles, which are all aimed at corporate and institutional customers.

The EV Star

This zero-emissions mini-bus has a range of up to 150 miles. The mini-bus can be fully charged in about two hours with wireless charging. It can also seat up to 19 passengers and be driven by a human driver or in self-driving mode.

The Beast (School Bus)

Green Power is also competing in the school bus market. The Battery Electric Automotive School Transportation (BEAST) has a range of up to 150 miles and has 90 seats. The vehicle's maximum speed is 65 mph.

The Transit Line

Green Power is also competing in the public transit market. Unlike its other vehicles, Green Power's battery-electric buses have an effective range between one hundred seventy-five and two hundred miles. With a driver power from Siemens, GreenPower has three models, including the EV550 double-decker model that can accommodate more than 100 standing passengers. Similar to the school bus offering, the company uses electronic mechanisms to limit its buses to a maximum of 65 miles per hour.

How Big Is the Electric Bus Market?

While the company has recently successfully sold its mini-bus to UCLA, there may be a larger market in selling buses. In 2019, there were more than 135,000 electric buses sold in the world. Most of the largest electric bus companies are all based outside the United States – Proterra is based in California. Other notable electric bus companies include BYD and Yutong (based in China), VDL Groep (Netherlands), and AB Volvo (Sweden).

According to ResearchAndMarkets.com, China is currently the largest market for electric buses. The Middle East and Africa are also expected to be significant markets for electric buses in the coming years. In 2019, Foton Motors signed an agreement with Egypt to manufacture over 2,000 electric buses in Egypt over the next few years.

About the Author


Headshot for author Bruce Harpham

Bruce Harpham is an author and marketing consultant based in Canada. His first book "Project Managers At Work" shared real-world success lessons from NASA, Google, and other organizations. His articles have been published in CIO.com, InfoWorld, Canadian Business, and other organizations. Visit BruceHarpham.com for articles, interviews with tech leaders, and updates on future books.

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