MCI delivers zero-emission coaches to Hawaii, marking a first in U.S. tour market

Motor Coach Industries (MCI) this week delivered three zero-emission, battery-electric MCI J4500 CHARGE coaches to Roberts Hawaii, the largest transportation provider in the state.

Roberts Hawaii is the first U.S. operator to run the MCI J4500 CHARGE zero-emission coaches in tour and charter operations.

The 45-foot, 56-passenger luxury coaches are equipped with modern amenities and safety features, including a 360-degree camera system and American-made batteries. 

Roberts Hawaii EVP Randy Baldemor, Roberts Hawaii CEO Roy Pfund and Juan Lep, MCI VP of new/pre-owned coach sales.

Supported by funding from the Hawaii State Energy Office and the Hawaii Department of Health through the Diesel Replacement Rebate Program, Roberts Hawaii’s fully electric motor coaches help to meet the state’s net-negative emissions targets and future-skills workforce development initiatives.

Supporting state’s clean-energy goals

“Hawai‘i has a long history of firsts when it comes to clean energy, so we are thrilled to assist Roberts Hawaii to become the first operator in the country to use fully electric motor coaches for tour and charter operations,” said Hawaii State Chief Energy Officer Mark B. Glick. “The Diesel Replacement Rebate program administered by the Hawaii State Energy Office is helping local businesses transition their fleets to clean, zero-emission options to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet the state’s ambitious clean energy and climate goals.”

MCI Hawaii
Roberts Hawaii now has three MCI J4500 CHARGE zero-emission coaches for its tour and charter operations.

With an 82-year history in transportation and tourism throughout the Islands, Roberts Hawaii sees the road to zero emissions as part of its legacy of innovation.

“Technology is our future, which is why we are investing in it now,” said Roy Pfund, CEO of Roberts Hawaii. 

The company began its transformation to electric in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, applying for state grants and building the infrastructure required for the change.

“It’s a significant accomplishment to be the first to purchase and operate three new MCI J4500 electric motor coaches in Hawaii,” continued Pfund. “We recognize and appreciate our state’s energy office contributions, our employee owner’s commitment to EV adoption, and MCI for its support and expertise.”

A long relationship

The MCI J4500 CHARGE is the electric version of the best-selling J4500 motor coach in North America. Roberts Hawaii has more J4500 coaches than any other vehicle.

The electric model incorporates NFI’s advanced technology for greater efficiency and smooth handling, including next-generation batteries that deliver quiet, long-range driving.

“Our longstanding relationship with Roberts Hawaii spans four decades,” said Brent Maitland, Vice President of Private Sector Sales and Marketing for MCI. “We are honored to be part of their expanding portfolio into zero-emission vehicles and appreciate their confidence in our product, parts, service, and support.”

MCI’s parent company, NFI, has electric vehicles operating or on order in more than 130 cities in six countries. NFI vehicles have completed over 115 million EV service miles.

Roberts Hawaii will first launch the electric models in its city guided tours to the USS Arizona Memorial and Pearl Harbor, and will make the coaches available to charter services.


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