Proterra Inc., maker of zero-emission commercial transit products, announced an investment of $30 million to accelerate the commercialization of its world-leading, fast-charge battery electric transit buses and automated bus charging systems.
The investment is being led by Silicon Valley venture firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB), and also includes GM Ventures, Mitsui & Co. Ltd., Vision Ridge Partners and 88 Green Ventures LLC.
Proterra's 35-foot EcoRide BE35 bus, in daily service at Calif.-based Foothill Transit since last September, will be rolling out to VIA Transit in San Antonio and Tallahassee StarMetro in Florida later this year.
The quiet, emissions-free "bus of tomorrow" is completely recharged in less than 10 minutes with Proterra's FastFill charging station resulting in a 1 for 1 replacement of diesel buses in service on routes today, according to the company.
This investment enables Proterra to complete critical federal validation testing of its bus, roll out additional pilot fleets and complete initiatives to significantly reduce costs and increase volume production at its Greenville, S.C., manufacturing plant, which will have a capacity to produce 400 buses annually.
The bus has more than 80 percent U.S. content from 33 states and will create approximately 2,400 jobs nationwide by 2015 across Proterra and its supplier network.