Volvo to Acquire Battery Manufacturer Proterra

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Volvo Group

Volvo Group has been selected as the winning bidder to acquire electric vehicle and components manufacturer Proterra’s powered business unit. The $210 million deal is set to close in early 2024, pending approval by a U.S. bankruptcy court.

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

Proterra designs and manufactures electric transit vehicles, as well as battery systems and charging solutions for heavy-duty vehicles and equipment. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in early August, with CEO Gareth Joyce saying the company faced “various market and macroeconomic headwinds that have impacted our ability to efficiently scale."

How the acquisition will impact Proterra’s partnerships with other OEMs is unclear. Komatsu in January 2021 announced an agreement with Proterra to develop battery and charging systems for its prototype PC210E battery-electric hydraulic excavator.

Volvo Group spokesperson Claes Eliasson told Equipment World sister brand 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."

Volvo Construction Equipment’s current lineup of electric construction equipment includes: the L20 and L25 compact wheel loader, the EC18, ECR18 and ECR25 compact excavators, the EC230 full-size excavator and the DD25 roller. The company established a dedicated compact business unit in June to “take advantage of the shift to electrification in the compact equipment segment and lead the industry's transformation with a fully electric lineup of equipment and solutions across the product range.”

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Volvo says the transaction has no material impact on its 2023 financial performance.