Motor Coach Industries (MCI) has delivered its first battery-electric J4500 coaches in North America, with two battery-electric, zero-emission J4500 CHARGE 45-foot coaches going to a California Bay Area operator, the manufacturer announced.
The battery-electric, zero-emission luxury coaches feature spacious interiors with industry-leading legroom and will complement clean-diesel models in the California Bay Area employee shuttle market. Technology companies in the Bay Area first introduced employee commuting in the late 1990s to offer alternative commuter options to supplement local public transportation.
“MCI is proud to deliver our first battery-electric J4500 CHARGE coaches to the Bay Area employee shuttle market,” said Brent Maitland, MCI’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “This growing market continues to advance employee transportation, making commuter shuttle service even more environmentally friendly, inviting, and comfortable. The employee shuttle market is an excellent application for MCI’s EVs, as their range covers the length of the shuttle service routes and does not require a large amount of baggage bay space. MCI has rigorously tested the J4500 CHARGE coach for this business segment throughout locations in the U.S. and Canada to ensure its high performance for our customers.”
California closer to zero-emission rules
The purchases by the unnamed California operator come as the California Air Resources Board is moving forward with plans to mandate a transition to zero-emission trucks, shuttle buses and other buses beginning in 2024. A final decision on the Advanced Clean Fleet regulation is scheduled for spring 2023. The action aims to fight pollution.
Introduced in 2021, the J4500 CHARGE is a zero-emission version of the industry’s best-selling J series tour and charter luxury coach. Powered by American-made, high-energy batteries, the J4500 CHARGE leverages EV technology from sister company New Flyer and delivers a range of over 230 miles (544 kWh) on a single charge.
All MCI battery-electric coaches incorporate advanced EV technology, including enhanced regeneration for energy recovery and greater efficiency, a smooth-riding suspension and a high-torque electric drive system for efficient performance at highway speeds.
Designed for long-distance applications, MCI electric coaches deliver plug-in battery charging to 100% in 4 hours or less. MCI’s parent company, NFI Group Inc., is a leader in zero-emission mobility, with electric vehicles operating or on order in more than 120 cities in six countries. NFI offers the widest range of zero-emission battery and fuel cell electric buses and coaches, and its vehicles have completed over 85 million EV service miles.