Proterra will use $140 million cash infusion to triple production in Greenville


Proterra, the manufacturer of battery-powered buses with a factory in Greenville, said it has raised another $140 million from investors and will use the money to accelerate manufacturing, including a 300 percent increase in its local production.

The company said its latest round of investor funding was led by an undisclosed investor who contributed $40 million.

Other funding came from “several new investors,” Proterra said, and existing board-level investors, which include Kleiner Perkins, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm, and GM Ventures, the venture capital arm of General Motors Corp.

Proterra said it would use the cash infusion to dramatically accelerate manufacturing, boosting production in Greenville by 300 percent and launching a previously announced factory in Los Angeles County, Calif.

“Proterra will hire key personnel in Los Angeles, Silicon Valley and Greenville to support production growth, as well as implement new manufacturing equipment and systems,” the company said in a news release.

Proterra in October announced the hiring of Josh Ensign, a former Honeywell International and Tesla Motors executive, as its new chief operating officer, with responsibility for tripling production in Greenville and initiating production at the Southern California factory.

Proterra moved to Greenville from Golden, Colo., as a startup company in 2010, and later relocated its headquarters to Burlingame, Calif., in the San Francisco area.

The company has sold hundreds of its battery-powered buses to transit agencies around the country.

Meanwhile, Greenville’s bus system, Greenlink, still plans to buy its first battery-powered bus from Proterra or another manufacturer, said Gary Shepard, who runs Greenlink as transportation director for the city of Greenville.

Shepard said Greenlink plans to use $300,000 appropriated by the state Legislature as a “local match” to secure additional federal money available through a Federal Transit Administration program designed to promote low-emission or no-emission vehicles.

Shepard said he recently talked to Proterra CEO Ryan Popple about how Greenlink and the company can work together.

The cooperation could include Proterra helping Greenlink apply for federal grant money and Greenlink letting the company uses its routes to test new vehicles, Shepard said.






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