Proterra Raises $30 Million To Mass Produce Electric Buses

Golden, Colorado-based Proterra, Inc.— the makers of electric commercial vehicles, systems and charging stations for them— raised $30 million, the company announced today. The investment was led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) and joined by GM Ventures, Mitsui & Co., Vision Ridge Partners and 88 Green Ventures.

According to a press statement today, Proterra will use its new funding to: complete federal testing of its buses; supply vehicles and systems to pilot fleets; and increase the number of buses and systems its Greenville, South Carolina plant manufactures each year. The plant is supposed to have the capacity to produce 400 buses annually, when fully operational.

Proterra’s brands currently include the EcoRide (image, above) bus and FastFill charging station. The company promises that the EcoRide bus can be fully recharged in ten minutes or less on the FastFill charging station. Of the components and content in a Proterra, EcoRide bus, 80 percent are made in the U.S. across 33 states.

Manufacturing industry veteran, David Lehmann, joined Proterra as its new chairman with this deal. Lehman previously worked with General Electric (GE) and Solar Turbines Inc., a subsidiary of Caterpillar. Michael Linse, a partner at KPCB, also joined the board.

Image: The EcoRide BE35, a 35-foot, low-floor composite body transit bus with battery-electric vehicle architecture (courtesy of Proterra, Inc.)