BMW and Al Gore Invest $55 million in Proterra for electric buses

by SpeedLux
Proterra bus

Both customer acceptance and sales of electric vehicles have been on the upswing, however the public transport sector has been making its own strides behind the scenes. Proterra, a producer of electric buses, supposedly closed their last round investments to the tune of $55 million with funding from two huge (and extremely different) names-BMW and former U.S. Vice President Al Gore.

This advancement comes not long after BMW revealed plans to broaden its i Ventures program to further buy its own electric automobile program, and news of their recent collaboration with Chargepoint to present a large number of charging stations nationwide. Repeated investment by the German auto producer indicates a clear interest in the shift to electrified vehicles. Not remarkably, the belief is further strengthened by a statement from BMW i Ventures that calls electric mass transit “the new standard” over fossil-fueled buses.

And where as BMW is the most significant vehicle name to get on board, the supposedly “unplanned” financial investment round was led by none other than Al Gore, whose investment firm Generation Investment Management LLP concentrates on sustainable projects.

Proterra just recently announced its strategy to check self-driving technology with its electrified bus program. The self-driving buses will run at first in Reno, Nevada during the trial. A partnership in between Proterra and the University of Nevada was formed to establish the autonomous driving software, and they’re planning a complete rollout in approved cities once the tech is authorized for commercialization.

Proterra CEO Ryan Popple declares that its electrified buses are even more affordable over their life-span than their diesel equivalents. This might have been among the driving forces behind the company’s 380 deliveries throughout 15 various states. The company plans to use the bulk of the new financing to increase production numbers at their two manufacturing plants situated in Los Angeles and South Carolina, as well as support research and development on the firm’s future ventures.

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