New investment will help Highland accelerate its mission of bringing cheaper, cleaner transportation to schools throughout the US
HAMILTON, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Highland Electric Transportation, a provider of turnkey fleet solutions delivering the latest in zero-emission technologies to school districts and fleet managers, has raised $253MM of corporate equity to accelerate its growth. The financing was led by Vision Ridge Partners with participation by Fontinalis Partners and existing investors.
“We want everyone to enjoy the benefits of going electric – providing a safer, cleaner, quieter ride to students and delivering cost savings to school districts. Highland is making that possible through a comprehensive, cost-effective solution and we are excited to invest in the Company to accelerate its mission,” said Reuben Munger, Founder and Managing Partner of Vision Ridge Partners.
Highland reduces the complexity of going electric by providing customers a full-service solution of electric vehicles that are owned, powered, and maintained by the Company. This all-inclusive transportation-as-a-service model is the simple and cost-effective way for districts to transition their fleets. With technology solutions allowing vehicles to optimally charge and provide grid services, Highland is helping customers improve energy efficiency and resiliency.
“My partners and I believe millions of fleet vehicles will electrify,” said Chris Cheever, Founder and Partner at Fontinalis. “Highland is well positioned to help customers make it happen and our firm is excited to help the Company become a leader in its industry.” Fontinalis Partners was co-founded by Bill Ford, Executive Chairman of the Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) with deep expertise in mobility.
School districts and other governmental organizations are embracing electric vehicles because they are cheaper and cleaner. In addition to school buses, Highland plans to expand its service to help electrify entire government fleets. Currently, the Company is working on projects to electrify thousands of medium-duty vehicles in government fleets, which makes Highland among the biggest electric fleet owners.
“Our goal is to use this capital to build the largest electric fleet company that delivers economic and environmental value to our customers and society,” said Duncan McIntyre, Highland Founder and CEO. “We are blessed with great customers and a growing team that includes outstanding investors and company builders.”
The Company benefits from government initiatives that accelerate fleet electrification. These include President Biden’s executive order to electrify 645,000 Federal government vehicles as well as Build Back Better policy to provide incentives to electrify all 500,000 municipally-operated school buses in the United States. State governments are supporting the switch to electric vehicles too. For example, Maryland offers grants for zero-emission school buses. Additionally, last year’s Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Order 2222 created the nationwide ability to connect vehicle batteries to the electricity grid. Today, Highland is selling battery services into ISO-NE and will soon provide similar services to the PJM Energy Market.
Concurrent with the financing Reuben Munger, Justin Goerke, and Nat Kreamer, chief executive officer of the Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) and co-founder of Sunrun (NASDAQ: RUN), are joining Duncan McIntyre on Highland’s board of directors. Before founding Highland, Duncan co-founded Altenex, which pioneered the virtual power purchase agreement for renewable energy, developed over two gigawatts of renewable energy for marquee customers that included Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), Home Depot (NYSE: HD), and General Motors (NYSE: GM), and was acquired by Edison International (NYSE: EIX).
Highland Electric Transportation is headquartered in Hamilton, Massachusetts, neighboring its first customer, the City of Beverly. Today, Highland owns and operates American-made electric vehicles manufactured by North Carolina-headquartered Thomas Built Buses and powered by California-headquartered Proterra, which has announced its plan to go public by merging with Arclight Clean Transition Corp (NASDAQ:ACTC).
About Vision Ridge Partners
Launched in 2008 to invest in transformative growth companies within the sustainable energy sector, Vision Ridge Partners is an investment firm focused on the future. Our vision is to unleash capital markets to solve our generation’s greatest challenge: the threat posed to our planet by climate change. More information is available www.vision-ridge.com
About Fontinalis Partners
Fontinalis Partners is a venture capital firm investing in vertical and enabling technologies impacting the efficient movement of people and goods. The firm was founded in 2009, has offices in Detroit and Boston, and has raised more than $260 million of committed capital to date. More information is available at www.fontinalis.com
Image courtesy of Proterra
Thomas Built Buses Begins Delivery of Proterra Powered Electric School Buses in Virginia − (evobsession.com)