GM Ventures’ $6 million investment in electric bus maker image

General Motors Ventures LLC has announced that it is about to invest $6 million in a leading maker of zero-emission commercial transit buses.

GM Ventures is actually a division of an investment group which is led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a venture capital firm. It has also set to invest a sum of $30 million in Proterra Inc. where GM Ventures has announced to invest.

GM Ventures in its statement has said that Proterra’s EcoRide BE-35 battery electric bus is averaging up to 24 mpg, which is diesel equivalent in service, a more than 600% improvement over a typical diesel bus. It has also stated that using this technology which is developed by Proterra, the lightweight, composite-body bus recharges in about 10 minutes.

Through the equity investment, the company is planning to overcome all the technological challenge that could occur while making the electric support vehicle. GM has committed for electric thrust and supports so that it could identify as well as invest in the technology solutions which then will aid to advance the global transportation industry, this is what Job Lauckner, the president of GM Ventures had described.

While finding out solutions to the technological advancements, it will also aid to address the upcoming challenges of the urban mobility. At present, Proterra Inc. is producing trucks in Greeville, S.C. near Clemson University International Center for the Automotive Research. It is their temporary plant though. The TerraVolt energy storage system of Proterra comprised of 54-72 kWh lithium titanate battery packs which can be recharged in just 10 minutes. The charging process uses the roof-mounted Fast Fill recharging system of the company.

The bus will run for 40 miles on a full charge, even on 10 minutes fast charging option. If this plan starts functioning on roads then it will replace 80% of diesel buses in typical transit. Through central location charging, the Proterra EcoRide BE-35 can easily run for longer ranges.

By Sunita Mandal