DAIMLER AND PROTERRA ENTER ELECTRIC BUS DEAL
IN A MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT that should affect electric and automated bus and truck production and driveability globally, Daimler has entered into a new partnership with North American electric-bus powerhouse Proterra Inc., it was announced at the 2018 67th IAA Commercial Vehicles show in Hannover, Germany.
The deal is reported to be worth up to USD$155 million from investors Daimler, Tao Capital Partners G2VP and others.
In an investment move said to underscore commitment to electrification of commercial vehicles, Daimler Board member and head of its Trucks and Buses divisions, Martin Daum, said: “We started working on electric trucks and buses at a very early stage and we aim to set the standards here in each relevant segment.
“We expect the cooperation with Proterra to deliver additional impetus for the development of heavy-duty commercial vehicles with electric drive. In this way, we are broadening our scope in particular concerning the key technology of the battery – also with regard to North America,” he added.
In conjunction with the investment, Proterra and Daimler have entered into an agreement to explore the electrification of select Daimler heavy-duty vehicles. The first of these efforts will be to explore potential synergies with Daimler’s Thomas Built Buses division by bringing Proterra’s proven battery and drive train technologies to the North American school bus market, the next frontier for zero-emission, commercial fleets, it says.
Similar to public transit vehicles, school buses provide mission-critical community infrastructure and offer an excellent use case for vehicle electrification, as most school buses travel a predictable distance per day that is well within the capability of Proterra’s EV technology, says Daimler.
Ryan Popple, Proterra CEO said: “We are excited to collaborate with Daimler, and we appreciate their investment and support. Daimler is a global leader in vehicles that serve almost every category and market. Over the past year, we’ve gained a great deal of respect for the engineering prowess, operational expertise, and environmental stewardship of the Daimler team.”
Nick Pritzker, Chairman of Tao Capital
Partners said: “We have made several investments in disruptive transportation companies and believe electric vehicle technology is the future of mass transit fleets. We at Tao are proud to support Proterra in its mission to bring forth a clean, electric transportation ecosystem.”
ECITARO IN THE LIMELIGHT
The new, all-electric Mercedes-Benz eCitaro also had its trade-fair premiere at the IAA. The new city bus achieves unprecedented energy efficiency thanks to its innovative thermal management, the company says.
With a battery capacity of 243kWh and space for up to 88 passengers, the eCitaro is already the ideal vehicle for a considerable proportion of the operations undertaken by city buses today, says Daimler.
In just a few years, it will be able to completely replace the combustion engine with unique battery technology and fuel cells as a range extender, it states.
The new eCitaro is an integral part of the eMobility system at Daimler Buses. This eMobility system supports transport operators with everything from in-depth advice, an intelligent charging management system and the training of their employees through to the provision of specific services, the company says.
According to Daimler, even before the vehicle goes into series production this (European) autumn, orders have been received for several dozen eCitaro buses from customers in Germany and abroad, including Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe, Rhein-Neckar Verkehrsverbund, Hamburger Hochbahn and customers in Norway.
Above:The new Proterra deal is reported to be worth up to USD$155 million from investors Daimler, Tao Capital Partners G2VP and others.