Electric bus maker Proterra, a company that we’ve often written about, has secured a new $155-million round of investment, co-led by Daimler (the exact amount Daimler invested has not been divulged).
Along with the investment, Daimler and Proterra agreed to “explore the electrification of select Daimler heavy-duty vehicles. The first of these efforts will be to explore potential synergies with Daimler’s Thomas Built Buses division by bringing Proterra’s proven battery and drivetrain technologies to the North American school bus market.”
School buses will be a new frontier for Proterra, which has sold hundreds of its battery-electric buses to municipal transit agencies and other fleet operators. The partnership between the two vehicle manufacturers should be beneficial to both. Daimler can offer Proterra “experience in manufacturing commercial vehicles at scale,” while Proterra is proficient at building long-range buses – last year, the company’s Catalyst DuoPower drivetrain achieved a record 1,100-mile trip on a single charge.
“We started working on electric trucks and buses at a very early stage, and we aim to set the standards here in each relevant segment,” said Daimler Board Member Martin Daum. “We expect the cooperation with Proterra to deliver additional impetus for the development of heavy-duty commercial vehicles with electric drive.”
“Daimler is a global leader in vehicles that serve almost every category and market,” said Proterra CEO Ryan Popple. “Over the past year, we’ve gained a great deal of respect for the engineering prowess, operational expertise, and environmental stewardship of the Daimler team.”