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Electric bus maker Proterra raises $55 million from Al Gore’s investment firm and BMW

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Electric bus maker Proterra has raised another $55 million in funding, less than six months after closing a chunky $140 million round.

The latest cash injection arrives via Al Gore’s Generation Investment Management LLP, which led the round, and BMW’s VC arm BMW i Ventures.

Founded in 2004, Burlingame, Calif.-based Proterra makes transit buses that use electric batteries that can be fast-charged in around 10 minutes. Last September, the company unveiled a more efficient battery system that promises roughly 350 miles per charge.

The company has now raised around $350 million in equity funding, and with its latest cash influx Proterra plans to continue bolstering its production capabilities on the east and west coasts of the U.S.

Generation Investment Management was cofounded in 2004 by renowned U.S. politician and environmentalist Al Gore, who said that the company decided to lead on Proterra’s latest round because cities are increasingly searching for “smart and sustainable transportation solutions” to reduce pollution. “Proterra is incredibly well positioned to help accelerate the growth of sustainable cities and continue our transition to a clean energy economy,” said Gore.

Electric transport businesses are all the rage at present. In the past few months alone, Daimler led an $82 million investment into ChargePoint’s electric vehicle charging network, while on-demand air taxis moved a step closer when Lilium flight-tested its electric vertical takeoff jet and Zunum Aero launched to revolutionize air travel using electric planes and regional airports.

Proterra said that it has sold more than 400 buses to major U.S. cities, including Seattle, Dallas, Nashville, San Jose, and Philadelphia.

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