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BMW i Ventures invests in Proterra

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BMW i Ventures has made an investment in electric bus manufacturer Proterra.

The company, which invests in technologies that would affect BMW's business in the future, and Generation Investment Management LLP were part of a $55 million Series 6 funding round for Proterra, according to a news release.

Proterra officials said the capital raise will be used to increase production at its Greenville and Los Angeles facilities, as well as increase research and development at the company’s headquarters.

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

Proterra, which has its East Coast production facility in Greenville, is based in California's Silicon Valley. The manufacturer has a 60% market share in the mass transit market in North America, according to the release.

“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,” Proterra CEO Ryan Popple said in the release. “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.”

Proterra has sold electric buses to cities such as Seattle, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Dallas, Nashville, Tenn., San Jose, Calif., and Reno, Nev.

Former Vice President Al Gore, chairman of Generation Investment Management LLP, said in a release, “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.” 

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