In what could be a momentous boost to green, GM Ventures have come forward to invest $6 million in Proterra Inc., a leading maker of zero-emission commercial transit buses. The new move makes it clear that the firm strictly adheres to its set mission on investing in next-generation technologies that support innovation in the global transportation industry.
Proterra’s EcoRide BE-35 battery electric bus is averaging up to 24 mpg (diesel equivalent) in service, a more than 600-percent improvement over a typical diesel bus. Using technology developed by Proterra, the lightweight, composite-body bus recharges in about 10 minutes.
Three EcoRide BE-35 buses are currently in a test fleet near Pomona, Calif., with additional buses to be added, and new buses and charging stations are also headed to San Antonio and Tallahassee, Fla., later this year. This investment allows Proterra to complete federal validation testing of its bus, roll out additional pilot fleets and complete initiatives to significantly reduce costs and increase volume production at its Greenville, S.C. manufacturing plant, which will have the capacity to produce 400 buses annually.
EcoRide BE-35 can easily replace 80 percent of diesel buses in typical transit and shuttle use without altering schedules or passenger service. The EcoRide can also be configured for longer ranges while charging at a central location. Of course, this will be a giant leap ahead in popularising ‘green travel’.
Applause for GM Ventures for the green move.