Industry: Advanced Manufacturing and Materials
Funding Received: SC Launch Inc. Investment
Proterra is a leader in the design and manufacture of zero-emission heavy-duty vehicles, enabling bus fleet operators to significantly reduce operating costs while delivering clean, quiet transportation to local communities across North America. With more than 675 vehicles sold to 90 different municipal, university, airport, federal and commercial transit agencies in 40 U.S. states and Canadian provinces, Proterra is committed to providing state of the art, high performance vehicles to meet today’s growing market demand.
The company was founded in 2004, and their flagship product the EcoRide bus debuted in 2008 at the American Public Transportation Association’s Annual Meeting. In 2011 the company received an SC Launch Inc. investment to help them relocate to SC. The company opened it’s first factory in Greenville, SC.
The EcoRide became the first heavy duty electric bus to ever pass the Federal Transit Administration’s Altoona testing. The stringent federal test simulates 12 years of vehicle life, evaluating the bus on structural integrity and durability, reliability, maintainability, noise, fuel economy and emissions. The EcoRide BE35™ has the highest fuel economy and the lowest noise of any full-size passenger bus ever tested. The successful test results demonstrate the quality of the buses, and enabled Proterra to sell them to transit agencies that can purchase them using federal transportation grants.
The SC Launch, Inc. investment provided a bridge to venture capital co-investment which lead to future private investments. Now a graduate company, Proterra has achieved great success and received approximately $527.2 million in funding. The most recent round of $155 million closed in September 2018, co-led by Daimler, the world’s largest manufacturer of commercial vehicles. Tao Capital Partners also co-led the round, joined by G2VP and other technology investors.
HOW SC LAUNCH WORKS
The SC Launch Program creates the framework to fuel South Carolina’s innovation economy by providing the resources necessary to successfully launch startups.