Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA) Early Investors Support Another EV Maker

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Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) early investors have supported electric automobile company Proterra, basically a bus maker, according to VentureWire, citing company representatives.

No dearth of investors for electric vehicle makers

Tao Invest, an investment firm headed by Nick and Joby Pritzker, participated in a $10 million second close of Proterra’s Series C round, which now totals a little more than $34 million, according to the report from VentureWire. Chief Executive Garrett Mikita noted that Proterra valuation is approximately $200 million.

Other  investors who increased their share in the company according to Mikita are Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, General Motors Corp., GM Ventures, Mitsui & Co., Vision Ridge Partners, Hennessey Capital, 88 Green, Edison Energy Inc., a subsidiary of Edison International, and Constellation, a subsidiary of Exelon Corp.

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According to Mikita, the Series C round is capped at $40 million, and would be completed by the end of this quarter.

Electronic vehicles are catching the attention of consumers as Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) Model S was seen in the Wyoming region where Tesla has recently installed four superchargers.  Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is planning to set up dozens of other superchargers in the coming months.

Proterra gaining orders

Proterra has been winning orders from several municipalities over the past few months. Electric buses have many advantages, such as saving largely on fuel, and are becoming popular in cities. Also, the manufacturing facility is increasing continuously with suppliers like Proterra. Chinese manufacturer BYD Auto Company, which is backed by Warren Buffet and suppliers of buses that run on natural gas and other fuels, is a close competitor of Proterra.

Mikita reported that Proterra has sold a total of 23 all-electric buses in 2013 with 14 in the last quarter alone, which is an increase over eight vehicles delivered in fiscal 2012. The executive added that the company is also winning new orders apart from shipping and signed dozen of orders for buses in the last quarter.

“We ended the year with six months of production backlog out in front of us,” the CEO said.

According to Mikita, Proterra is under process of winning an order from Windsor, Ontario for around 100 buses. Proterra has also submitted bids to Seattle, which is planning to acquire over 200 all-electric buses. Last fiscal Proterra posted revenue of less than $20 million.