Heavy-Duty EV Manufacturer Proterra Gets $20 Million in Funding from MK Energy and Infrastructure

Market Leader in Zero Emission Transit Buses Will Use Funds to Create Jobs at New South Carolina Facility, Help Municipalities Reduce Fuel Costs and Dependence on Oil

Jun 09, 2010, 06:00 ET from Proterra Inc

GOLDEN, Colo., June 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Proterra Inc, a leading maker of clean commercial transit solutions including zero emission city buses, today announced $20 million in funding from cleantech investor, MK Energy and Infrastructure, LLC (MK E+I). The money will fund Proterra's efforts to provide cleaner and more economical public transportation options to transit agencies in the United States and internationally.

MK E+I's investment in Proterra will accelerate its construction of Proterra's first full-scale manufacturing plant in Greenville, S.C., which will break ground later this year and have capacity to make 2,500 EcoRide BE-35 buses annually and employ 1,300 workers over the next five years. Funds will also be used to advance Proterra's clean technology research and to promote policies in support of clean commuting.

"Our partnership with MK E+I will help us bring new jobs to Greenville and environmentally friendly buses to transit agencies and communities around the world, allowing them to slash fuel costs and significantly reduce noise and air pollution," Proterra President and CEO Jeffery Granato said. "MK E+I provides strategic experience to Proterra as we grow in the United States and look at global expansion. Together we will drive the transit industry into the next era of clean commuting."

At the Greenville plant, Proterra will manufacture its leading transit bus, the EcoRide BE-35, a patented, zero emission, fast-charge, battery-electric transit bus that replaces traditional diesel buses. The EcoRide BE-35 achieves 500% greater fuel efficiency than conventional diesel buses and more than 400% greater efficiency than the most advanced hybrid transit buses traveling the roads today, according to the Federal Transit Administration sponsored Altoona, Pennsylvania Bus Testing Center. Over a 12-year lifecycle, Proterra buses will save an average of $400,000 per bus in fuel costs as compared to a conventional diesel bus and almost $300,000 when compared to advanced hybrid buses. The neighborhood friendly EcoRide BE-35 reduces noise pollution to a fraction of that produced by today's traditional diesel buses. Moreover, if every diesel transit bus in the United States were replaced with an EcoRide BE-35, it would reduce consumption of fossil fuels by approximately 493 Million gallons per year - more than the amount consumed each year by every single car in the state of Colorado or South Carolina.

"The performance of Proterra's vehicles, combined with the results of our comprehensive analysis of Proterra's innovative energy storage, drive and related vehicle platforms, made the investment decision easy," said Ignacio Iribarren, managing director of MK E+I. "Our goal is to help Proterra vehicles become the standard in the United States and, eventually, in Europe and Latin America."

About Proterra Inc

Proterra is answering the international call for efficient, cost-effective and environmentally responsible heavy-duty vehicle solutions. Headquartered in Golden, Colorado, Proterra is a leading designer and manufacturer of heavy-duty drive and energy storage systems, vehicle control systems and complete transit buses. Proterra's systems are scalable to all forms of commercial buses and Class 6-8 trucks. Proterra's initial product, a 35' battery-electric transit bus, has been designed from the ground up to enable a world's first ever solution for transit agencies to replace conventional diesel buses on a one-for-one basis with all-electric buses operating 24/7. This is accomplished by combining Proterra's light-weight composite body, highly efficient ProDrive™, advanced TerraVolt™ energy storage system and on-route rooftop FastCharging™ station to charge the bus in 5-10 minutes. The vehicle achieves between 18 and 29 miles per gallon diesel fuel equivalent fully loaded with 68 passengers – 500% better than a comparable diesel bus.  For more information on Proterra and its technology please visit: www.proterra.com

About MK Energy and Infrastructure, LLC

MK Energy and Infrastructure (MK E+I) was established by The Michael Kenwood Group, LLC in July 2009 to develop business opportunities in proprietary infrastructure assets, advanced stage clean energy technology, and late stage development and operating renewable energy projects and infrastructure, both in OECD countries and in emerging markets.  For more information on MK Energy and Infrastructure please visit www.mkenergyandinfrastructure.com

SOURCE Proterra Inc