BMW's venture capital arm has invested in Proterra, a Silicon Valley manufacturer of heavy-duty electric mass-transit vehicles, Proterra said Tuesday.
The amount of BMW i Ventures' investment was undisclosed and was part of $55 million in funding from investors that also included Generation Investment Management, founded by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore.
BMW i Ventures was formed in 2011 to invest in high-potential startups and high-growth companies with interests in changing future mobility.
Proterra says it controls 60 percent of the electric mass transit market in North America and has sold more than 400 vehicles to 39 municipalities, universities and commercial transit agencies around the U.S.
The investment marks BMW i Ventures' first in heavy-duty electric mass-transit vehicles, according to Proterra.
"BMW i Ventures invests in companies that will transform mobility and transportation, and Proterra is pushing the transit industry forward with the most innovative heavy-duty electric bus," BMW i Venture partner Zach Barasz said in a statement. "Due to Proterra's efforts, electric mass-transit is overtaking fossil-fuel buses as the new standard."
No other terms of the investment were disclosed.
Proterra said it will use the funds to increase production at its two manufacturing plants, in South Carolina and near Los Angeles, and to strengthen r&d at its headquarters.
"This is an extremely exciting time at Proterra as our customers, supporters and investors -- new and old alike -- rally behind our vision for a clean, electric transportation ecosystem," Proterra CEO Ryan Popple said in the statement. "We're incredibly grateful to our new investors, and are proud to call them partners as we strive to eliminate fossil fuel dependence throughout the transit industry."