GM Ventures in Second Wave of Investments in Proterra and its Buses

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Gen­er­al Motors’ ven­ture cap­i­tal arm, GM Ven­tures, has invest­ed for a sec­ond time in Pro­ter­ra Inc. and its bat­tery-pow­ered bus­es. Pro­ter­ra is based in Greenville, S.C., and offers a pure bat­tery elec­tric, fast-charge bus, and will use the GM Ven­tures invest­ment to increase deliv­ery of its EcoRide bus­es to new cus­tomers and mar­kets. The EcoRide is able to com­plete a fast charge in 10 min­utes and has up to 40 miles of dri­ving range per charge. The com­pa­ny says that it’s serv­ing sev­en tran­sit author­i­ty cus­tomers dur­ing a time when sev­er­al munic­i­pal­i­ties and relat­ed agen­cies are adding more alter­na­tive fuel vehi­cles to their fleets.

GM Ven­tures is one of six com­pa­nies to invest a total of $23 mil­lion in a new round of financ­ing for Pro­ter­ra. In 2011, Pro­ter­ra received an addi­tion­al $6 mil­lion in invest­ment from GM Ven­tures. That became part of $30 mil­lion Pro­ter­ra raised at that time. For the cur­rent round, oth­er investors include Hen­nessey Cap­i­tal Man­age­ment LLC, NMT Cap­i­tal, Klein­er Perkins Cau­field & Byers, Mit­sui & Co. Glob­al Invest­ment Inc., 88 Green Ven­tures and Vision Ridge Part­ners. For GM Ven­tures, Pro­ter­ra fits in well with its over­all invest­ment strat­e­gy of find­ing invest­ment oppor­tu­ni­ties in advanced vehi­cle tech­nolo­gies. GM Ven­tures is also invest­ing in con­nect­ed-vehi­cle devices, advanced mate­ri­als for weight sav­ings, and sen­sors, proces­sors and mem­o­ry that could aid autonomous dri­ving.

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