Ensign, Tesla’s former manufacturing VP joins Proterra, set to build all-electric buses


Josh Ensign who was Tesla’s VP of manufacturing left the company amidst controversy with Greg Reichow, then VP of production when Elon Musk, the CEO called their work “production hell” in the early part of the year as a result of the Model X ramp up that was difficult to complete.

However, the company did not accept that they both left because of the Model X and so after hired Peter Hochholdinger, who was senior director of production at Audi to lead the flock.

The news we heard is that Ensign is staying on but this time joining Proterra, an all-electric bus maker as Chief Operating Officer.


Ensign before being part of Tesla in 2014 was a US Army Veteran and had earlier joined Honeywell after his retirement in 2003. He spent other roles in manufacturing before joining Tesla 2 years ago as could be read in his LinkedIn profile.

Proterra’s manufacturing facility is based in South Carolina, Greenville precisely. Ensign’s role at the company will be to scale all the manufacturing operations found at the plant. He will also work towards bringing the operations of the battery manufacturing and the new facility of the Los Angeles County online in the early part of next year.

A press release made by the company today announced the hiring of Ensign adding that the company would triple its East Coast facility production and extends its production to Southern California in the year 2017. The company also said that Ensign will be installing Model S; the Model X and dual-motor platform as well as establish the new seat of Tesla’s manufacturing facility.

Proterra CEO, Ryan Popple who had worked with Tesla as an executive said he has faith in Ensign’s ability to ramp up production as the company is heading towards massive growth. He added that his operational expertise could not have come at a better time to Proterra.


The company claims that it has sold not less than 312 electric buses adding that sales have gone up to 220% since 2015. Presently, the company’s vehicles in operation have recorded 2.5 million miles with expectations to increase in the coming year with special thanks to Catalyst E2 which is an all-electric bus that has a range of 350 miles on a 660 kWh massive battery.