Motor Coach Industries (MCI) has unveiled its first battery-electric luxury coach in the North American market. The J4500 CHARGE is a zero-emission version of the industry’s bestselling J series tour and charter luxury coaches.
MCI is leveraging technology developed by parent company NFI Group Inc., a bus and coach manufacturer for the transit market.
“NFI has pushed EV and automated innovation forward, and today we achieve another milestone in our technology roadmap through the launch of MCI’s first battery-electric luxury coach,” said Paul Soubry, NFI President and Chief Executive Officer, in May 4 announcement. “With the unveiling, MCI further expands NFI’s market-leading portfolio of zero-emission vehicles and continues our ability to lead the ZEvolution.”
More than 200-mile range
MCI’s J4500 CHARGE batteries deliver a range of more than 200 miles, and can recharge in roughly four hours, the company said in a May 4 press conference unveiling the vehicle.
The vehicle’s range makes it suitable for tour and charter, employee shuttle, and executive coach operators looking to lower their emissions and total operating costs while maintaining the luxury passenger experience that has defined MCI for decades, the company said.
“Our J4500 CHARGE was made for high performance through unmatched design, with each detail developed to provide an exceptional passenger experience while supporting zero-emission travel with clean, safe, reliable mobility,” said Chris Stoddart, President, NFI North America Bus and Coach. “With fully customizable interiors, the industry’s best warranty coverage, and expert infrastructure support offered through NFI’s Infrastructure Solutions team, the J4500 CHARGE is leading the next generation of travel.”
The J4500 CHARGE features brighter, more spacious interiors with more legroom. Parts support is provided by NFI subsidiary NFI Parts, North America’s largest parts supplier, with training offered by the industry’s only ASE-accredited training center, MCI Academy.
Further training and workforce development support is provided through NFI’s Vehicle Innovation Center (VIC). The innovation lab in Anniston, Alabama, is dedicated to the advancement of bus technology.
Virtual training sessions
The VIC now offers detailed virtual sessions to allow operators and drivers to increase their electric vehicle and automated vehicle training.
“We successfully completed prototype testing of our J4500 CHARGE in 2018, and since then have continued rigorous field testing of MCI’s battery-electric performance to prove operation through virtually any condition,” said Brent Maitland, MCI’s Vice President of Private Sector Sales and Marketing. “And, not only do our EVs include the industry’s best warranty at 30 months, they are supported by NFI’s field tech army — North America’s most extensive bus and coach service and support network — with 24/7 roadside assistance to support operators any time of day.”
New Flyer and MCI will deliver J4500 CHARGE electric coach training through a no-cost virtual session hosted July 7, 2021, through the VIC. To register, visit newflyer.com/VIC.