FlixBus recently completed an electric bus pilot program running between Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia, which is being described as another key step toward realizing the goal of launching the first zero-emissions bus route in North America.
It’s the latest for FlixBus, which has run electric bus pilots in seven cities along the West Coast and carried hundreds of passengers through these programs. These include a series of firsts in U.S. history, including the first intercity electric bus pilot between Sacramento, California, and San Francisco in 2019, the first interstate electric bus pilot in 2021 between Seattle and Eugene, Oregon, and the first international pilot between Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia, in July 2022.
Through pilot programs like these, FlixBus says it has proven that zero-emission vehicles (ZEV) — particularly buses and motorcoaches — are climate-friendly solutions to reduce emissions and speed the transition from fossil fuels.
However, the projects also highlight that while great strides have been made in building charging infrastructure for private cars, facilities for medium and large vehicles still require greater public/private investment to provide incentives to industries like transit and freight to make the transition to ZEVs.
The Aug. 11-19 pilot program between Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia was FlixBus’ first on the East Coast and tested the viability of electric motorcoaches along one of the United States’ busiest intercity routes.
The all-electric coach, a J4500 CHARGE, was provided by Motor Coach Industries (MCI). The J4500 CHARGE, a zero-emission version of the industry’s best-selling J series tour and charter luxury coaches, leverages EV technology from New Flyer and delivers more than 200 miles of range, while also delivering enhanced safety features.
FlixBus’ local bus partner, Adventure Tours, based in Maryland, ran the J4500 CHARGE on passenger trips between FlixBus’ stops in Washington, D.C. (New York Avenue and 6th Street NW), Philadelphia (6th and Market Street) and Cherry Hill Mall (2000 NJ-38).
Adventure Tours, a FlixBus partner since 2019, operates FlixBus routes throughout the mid-Atlantic United States.
“Adventure Tours has proudly been providing luxury transportation services in the D.C. metro area for nearly 25 years. Our company was founded with a commitment to excellence and providing the most modern fleet in the area,” said Adnan Khan, President of Adventure Tours. “We were the first green-certified company in 2014 in the D.C. metro area, and we are now excited to welcome the challenge of operating the first all-electric private route in the area. We look forward to working with our trusted partners, MCI and Flix, on the continued transformation of our industry.”