MCI J4500e electric coach prototype reaches highway speed and reliability targets in test runs; on sale in 2020
Motor Coach Industries (MCI), the US subsidiary of New Flyer Industries Inc. (NFI Group), the largest transit bus and motor coach manufacturer and parts distributor in North America, announced that its all-electric J4500e prototype—a battery-electric version of J4500 coach—successfully completed its phase one testing. MCI said that the coach ran flawlessly at both low and high speeds up to a sustained 70 mph (113 km/h) on the highway. 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 2130 lb-ft (2888 N·m) Siemens electric drive system and a 450 kWh Nickel Manganese Cobalt (NMC) Li-ion battery pack with high power plug-in battery charging to 100% in less than three hours. MCI will also apply the 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’re enormously pleased by these early test results—our all-electric J4500e delivered smooth power across varied roadways and impressive results in acceleration, handling and ride quality. MCI has covered electric territory before with hybrid diesel-electric coaches built in early 2000s that are still in service, but with the all-electric platform, we’re benefitting from New Flyer’s long time, battery-electric low-floor transit expertise.—JP Pelletier, Vice President of MCI Engineering
MCI President Ian Smart said that customers will have a range of charging options: standard depot charging, on-route systems or a multi-charge design.
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.
NFI Group provides a comprehensive suite of mass transportation solutions under several brands: New Flyer (heavy-duty transit buses); ARBOC (low-floor cutaway and medium-duty buses); MCI (motor coaches); and NFI Parts (bus and coach parts, support, and service). NFI Group’s vehicles incorporate the widest range of drive systems available ranging from clean diesel, natural gas, diesel-electric hybrid, trolley-electric, battery-electric, and fuel cell-electric.
Motor Coach Industries is North America’s motor coach leader, offering the J Series, the industry’s best-selling intercity coach for 11 consecutive years; and the D Series, the industry’s best-selling motor coach line in North American history. MCI actively supports over 28,000 coaches currently in service.