Daimler invests in electric bus company Proterra; exploring electrification of Daimler’s Thomas Built school buses
Daimler Trucks & Buses is investing in the US company Proterra Inc. Martin Daum, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG with responsibility for Daimler Trucks & Buses, made the announcement at the 67th IAA Commercial Vehicles in Hannover. Proterra was founded in 2004 with headquarters in California and is a leader in the business with electric buses for local transport.
Daimler’s investment was part of a $155-million round co-led by Daimler and Tao Capital Partners.
In conjunction with the investment, Proterra and Daimler have entered into an agreement 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 drive train technologies to the North American school bus market.
Similar to public transit vehicles, school buses provide mission-critical community infrastructure and offer an excellent use case for vehicle electrification, as most school buses travel a predictable distance per day that is well within the capability of Proterra’s EV technology.
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. We expect the cooperation with Proterra to deliver additional impetus for the development of heavy-duty commercial vehicles with electric drive. In this way, we are broadening our scope in particular concerning the key technology of the battery – also with regard to North America.—Martin Daum