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Highland Electric Transportation raises $253M to accelerate electrification of school fleets

Highland Electric Transportation, a provider of turnkey fleet solutions delivering the latest in zero-emission technologies to school districts and fleet managers, has raised $253 million to accelerate its growth. The financing was led by Vision Ridge Partners with participation by Fontinalis Partners and existing investors.

Highland reduces the complexity of going electric by providing customers a full-service solution of electric vehicles that are owned, powered, and maintained by the company. This all-inclusive transportation-as-a-service model is the simple and cost-effective way for districts to transition their fleets.

With technology solutions allowing vehicles to optimally charge and provide grid services, Highland is helping customers improve energy efficiency and resiliency.

My partners and I believe millions of fleet vehicles will electrify. Highland is well positioned to help customers make it happen and our firm is excited to help the company become a leader in its industry.

—Chris Cheever, Founder and Partner at Fontinalis

Fontinalis Partners was co-founded by Bill Ford, Executive Chairman of the Ford Motor Company.

In addition to school buses, Highland plans to expand its service to help electrify entire government fleets. Currently, the company is working on projects to electrify thousands of medium-duty vehicles in government fleets, which makes Highland among the biggest electric fleet owners.

Highland benefits from government initiatives that accelerate fleet electrification. These include President Biden’s executive order to electrify 645,000 Federal government vehicles as well as Build Back Better policy to provide incentives to electrify all 500,000 municipally-operated school buses in the United States.

State governments are supporting the switch to electric vehicles as well. For example, Maryland offers grants for zero-emission school buses. Additionally, last year’s Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Order 2222 created the nationwide ability to connect vehicle batteries to the electricity grid. Today, Highland is selling battery services into ISO-NE and will soon provide similar services to the PJM Energy Market.

Highland Electric Transportation is headquartered in Hamilton, Massachusetts, neighboring its first customer, the City of Beverly. Today, Highland owns and operates American-made electric vehicles manufactured by North Carolina-headquartered Thomas Built Buses and powered by California-headquartered Proterra.


Joseph Wilder

As a former school bus driver, it's obvious to me that school buses are prime targets for electrification. The routes I drove only amounted to about 50 miles per day over the course of picking up and dropping off.

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