Liberal billionaire George Soros' investment firm reportedly lost up to $105 million in the two years since it invested in the electric bus company Proterra, which recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, according to a Daily Wire analysis.
The firm initially invested in 7.75 million shares of Proterra, worth over $132 million, when the company went public in June 2021. However, Proterra's stock price has only fallen since then. Despite buying an additional 220,000 shares in the last quarter of 2021, Soros has sold shares every quarter since as news of the company’s shortcomings became public.
Proterra had initially seemed a promising investment. It received support from the Biden administration, with President Biden touring one of Proterra’s facilities and touting it as part of the future of green transit.
The administration’s $1.9 trillion infrastructure plan included a $5 billion allocation towards electric school buses, one of Proterra’s main products. Proterra also stood to benefit from tax credits and new funding sources under the Inflation Reduction Act, which would help accelerate the adoption of battery-electric and zero-emission vehicles.
The ties between the Biden administration and Proterra run deep. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm had previously sat on the board of Proterra and held up to $5 million in stock options in the company. Granholm divested from her stake in May 2021 amid conflict of interest concerns — a fortuitous move given the company's subsequent collapse.
Granholm is currently facing calls to resign over alleged ethics violations.
"Biden later went on to appoint Proterra CEO Gareth Joyce to the President’s Export Council, which advises the President on international trade, in February 2023. But the ties between the administration and Proterra run even deeper," the Daily Wire reported.
Proterra’s troubles have been numerous. In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, $24 million worth of Proterra buses were taken off the roads after their electric batteries proved inadequate for completing their routes. The heavy batteries were reportedly also cracking the bus chassis, causing safety concerns. One of Philadelphia's Proterra buses even caught fire in November 2022, and similar incidents occurred in Connecticut and California.
Soros' firm, Soros Fund Management, still owned 2.3 million shares of Proterra as of June, when the company was trading at $1.20 a share. Currently valued at just 8 cents a share, this investment would be worth around $200,000 today. Proterra now faces multiple shareholder lawsuits alleging false or misleading statements and failure to disclose financial information affecting share prices.