Daimler Trucks & Buses said it is joining BMW and General Motors by investing in electric bus manufacturer Proterra Inc., Proterra was founded in 2004 and is a manufacturer of electric buses mostly for local transport. Proterra said Daimler co-led an investment round of $155 million in the Burlingame, Calif. manufacturer, along with Tao Capital Partners, and were joined by G2VP and other technology investors.
Daimler and Proterra also announced that in conjunction with the investment, the two companies have entered into an agreement to explore the electrification of select heavy-duty vehicles starting with Daimler’s Thomas Built Buses division incorporating Proterra’s battery and drivetrain technologies.
Similar to public transit vehicles, school buses offer an excellent use case for vehicle electrification, as most school buses travel a predictable distance per day that is well within the capability of Proterra’s EV technology, the company said.
“We started working on electric trucks and buses at a very early stage,” said member of the board of management of Daimler AG with responsibility for Daimler Trucks & Buses, “and we aim to set the standards here in each relevant segment. We expect the cooperation with Proterra to deliver additional impetus for the development of heavy-duty commercial vehicles with electric drive. In this way, we are broadening our scope in particular concerning the key technology of the battery – also with regard to North America.”