Vehicles

MCI Ready To Take Orders For Its First Electric Coach

Posted on May 14, 2018
The J4500e's electric motor lessens interior cabin noise, increasing passenger comfort. During the phase one tests, the J4500e regenerative braking, specifically designed to feel like the brakes on a clean-diesel coach, also performed as intended. (MCI image)
The J4500e's electric motor lessens interior cabin noise, increasing passenger comfort. During the phase one tests, the J4500e regenerative braking, specifically designed to feel like the brakes on a clean-diesel coach, also performed as intended. (MCI image)

MCI said May 10 its all-electric J4500e prototype successfully completed its phase one testing. The motorcoach ran flawlessly at both low and high speeds up to a sustained 70 mph on the highway.

The test means MCI, which pioneered green fuel solutions with early entries in CNG and diesel-electric more than a decade ago, will add North America’s best-selling motorcoach to its list of environmental breakthroughs. The all-electric J4500e coach is on schedule for January 2020 production and orders are being taken now.

The electric architecture incorporated in the MCI J4500e features a high-torque Siemens 2130 LB FT electric drive system with a planned range to meet long-distance applications, and a Nickel Manganese Cobalt (NMC) battery at 450 kWh with high power plug-in battery charging to 100% in under three hours. MCI will also apply its battery-electric platform to the D45 CRT LE Commuter Coach followed by the electric 35-foot MCI J giving operators the most comprehensive choices in purpose-built, all-electric coaches.

“We foresee our all-electric J4500e as the next frontier for MCI, with our MCI D45 CRT LE offering the same electric propulsion platform," MCI President Ian Smart said in a press release. "Our customers will also have attractive electric charging options with MCI. They can work with us on standard depot charging, on-route systems or a multi-charge design.” Optional choices are productive because charging access still varies by community and route requirements, he added.

MCI will now move its all-electric J4500 test to Northern California, where public and private operators are eyeing all-electric expansion for their key customers. Major Silicon Valley technology employers are expanding their own private coach shuttle systems attractive to millennial workforces. Success in this market requires a deep understanding of how employer operators will be using these coaches.

The support grid for MCI’s all-electric product line includes more than 24 field support experts; seven MCI sales and service Centers across the U.S. and Canada; the MCI Academy – the company’s expanding online and hands-on technical training department; and NFI Parts, where operators have access to MCI and New Flyer OE parts along with parts for most other makes and models.

“The electric future at MCI is in line with our over all objectives of building low cost of operation and easy to service models,” Smart said. “MCI’s proven coaches combined with New Flyer’s battery-electric Xcelsior Charge expertise will pave the way for vehicle reliability, and help our customers make a smooth transition to electric.”

Source: MCI press release

Related Topics: Electric Vehicles, green vehicles, MCI, motorcoaches, OEMs

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