06/13/2011 04:31 pm ET Updated Aug 13, 2011

Proterra, Golden-Based Electric Bus Company, Raises $30 Million

Golden-based Proterra, Inc., the manufacturers of Denver's alternative fuel 16th Street Mall buses, announced Monday the receipt of more than $30 million in capital to mass produce zero-emission electric buses.

The investment will enable the company to complete federal validation testing, roll out several pilot bus fleets, and increase production volume.

Buses will be manufactured at the Proterra plant in Greenville, South Carolina, with an estimated capacity of 400 buses each year. 80-percent of the EcoRide's component parts are made in the U.S. The company's flagship BE35 EcoRide bus can be fully recharged in ten minutes or less.

TechCruch reports that funding partners include Silicon Valley firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, GM Ventures, Mitsui & Co., Ltd., Vision Ridge Partners and 88 Green Ventures, LLC.

"Electrification of public transportation has tremendous benefits to governments, municipalities and citizens by reducing the operating cost of transit, while also eliminating local air pollution and reducing C02 per passenger mile in the industry," said Al Gore, former U.S. Vice President and Partner with Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.