Volvo to acquire battery business from Proterra

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Volvo Group is set to acquire Proterra Inc., and Proterra Operating Company out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy for approximately $210 million. Pending approval by a U.S. bankruptcy court, the deal is expected to close in early 2024.

The assets to be acquired include a development center for battery modules and packs in California and an assembly facility in South Carolina. With this acquisition, Volvo Group will complement the current, and accelerate its future, battery-electric road map.

“We entered into the Chapter 11 process with a mission to maximize the potential of each of our product lines," said Gareth Joyce, Proterra CEO. "[Friday], we have taken an important step towards that goal for our Proterra Powered business."

Proterra designs and manufactures battery electric transit buses, battery systems for other heavy-duty vehicle builders, and charging systems for fleets of heavy-duty vehicles. Working with companies like Navistar, Daimler Truck North America (DTNA) subsidiary Thomas Built Buses, Nikola and Lightning Motors, among others, Proterra claims it delivered 199 new transit buses and battery systems for 1,229 vehicles in 2022. It filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in August 2023.

Nikola Corporation in January 2022 agreed to a multi-year supply agreement with Proterra. Under the terms of the agreement, Proterra will supply its battery technology to Nikola's zero-emission trucks. Proterra product is expected to be incorporated in the Nikola Tre battery-electric vehicle (BEV) and Tre fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV). 

Volvo Group spokesperson Claes Eliasson told Clean Trucking Friday morning that, at this stage, it’s too early to comment on any current or future business plans for the combined entity, adding Volvo intends "to operate the business as a going concern."

"Our view is that Proterra Powered will complement our battery strategy in a very good way," he said. "Volvo is already today a market front-runner for commercial vehicle electrification. Adding Proterra Powered assets, where Proterra has also been a front-runner, we can further strengthen and accelerate."

Daimler in 2018 announced a $155 million investment Proterra. Former DTNA CEO Roger Nielsen joined the company's Board of Directors in March 2022 assumed the role of Proterra’s chairman in May 2023. 

Jason Cannon has written about trucking and transportation for more than a decade and serves as Chief Editor of Commercial Carrier Journal. A Class A CDL holder, Jason is a graduate of the Porsche Sport Driving School, an honorary Duckmaster at The Peabody in Memphis, Tennessee, and a purple belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu. Reach him at [email protected].