BMW i Ventures, a corporate venture capital team founded by BMW Group in 2011, has invested in Proterra - the US electric bus manufacturer, which currently holds 60% market share in the North American electric transit market.  BMW i Ventures also owns a sizable chunk of public charging network - ChargePoint.

The $55 million series 6 round follows a $140 million series 5 session, completed this past January.

The latest round was led by Generation Investment Management LLP, a long-term, sustainability-focused investment firm....which incidentally has Al Gore as its Chairman.

Proterra announced that will it utilize the $55 million to:

  • increase production at its manufacturing facilities in South Carolina and Los Angeles
  • while also bolstering research and development efforts at the company’s headquarters in Silicon Valley
  • throw a wicked party hosted by Drake
To date, Proterra has sold (delivered or received orders) more than 400 electric buses.

Below:  Enjoy the follow press release, and various talking points

Proterra electric bus operating costs chart.

Proterra electric bus operating costs chart.

"Currently, the company has sold more than 400 vehicles to some of the country’s most innovative cities and communities, including Seattle, Dallas, Nashville, San Jose, Philadelphia and Reno. In addition to its commitment to nationwide growth, Proterra remains focused on attracting the best engineering, design and electric vehicle technology talent from across the country. This dedication to workforce development has helped the company achieve multiple innovation firsts, including its recent launch of the industry’s first autonomous bus development program with the University of Nevada, Reno.

The investments from Generation Investment Management and BMW i Ventures represent important milestones for both groups. With a commitment to embedding sustainability into mainstream capital markets, Generation Growth Equity has a long history of investing in mobility, covering a range of sustainable solutions from electric vehicles to bike sharing to fleet management technology. With Generation establishing a presence in San Francisco this year, this is a critical investment to add to their growing portfolio on the West Coast. For BMW i Ventures, this represents its first investment in heavy-duty electric vehicle manufacturing underscoring the transition to electric mass transit. United by a shared belief in responsible citizenship and sustainable transportation technology, Proterra will work closely with Generation and BMW i Ventures to help communities transition to zero-emission mobility fleets."

Proterra electric bus getting a boost

Proterra electric bus getting a boost

Former U.S. Vice President and Generation Investment Management Chairman Al Gore said:

“More than ever before, cities are looking for sustainable transportation solutions that can reduce pollution efficiently and effectively. Proterra is incredibly well positioned to help accelerate the growth of sustainable cities and continue our transition to a clean energy economy.”

Zach Barasz, partner at BMW i Ventures said:

“BMW i Ventures invests in companies that will transform mobility and transportation, and Proterra is pushing the mass transit industry forward with the most innovative heavy-duty electric bus. Due to Proterra’s efforts, electric mass transit is overtaking fossil-fuel buses as the new standard.”

Ryan Popple, CEO of Proterra said:

“This is an extremely exciting time at Proterra as our customers, supporters and investors—new and old alike—rally behind our vision for a clean, electric transportation ecosystem. We’re incredibly grateful to our new investors, and are proud to call them partners as we strive to eliminate fossil fuel dependence throughout the transit industry.”


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