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MCI electric coach hits North American highways

ICE-powered MCI J4500.

The long-range, all-electric J4500e coach is scheduled for full production in January 2020

Motor Coach Industries (MCI), a subsidiary of Canada’s New Flyer Industries, has announced that its all-electric J4500e prototype successfully completed a phase one testing. The coach demonstrated a flawless run at low and high speeds up to a sustained 70 mph on the highway.

MCI J4500e has a high-torque Siemens 2130 LB FT electric drive system with a planned range to meet long-distance applications, Nickel Manganese Cobalt (NMC) battery at 450 kWh with high power plug-in battery charging to 100% in under three hours.

“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,” said JP Pelletier, Vice President of MCI Engineering. He observed how the electric motor lessens interior cabin noise, increasing passenger comfort. The J4500e regenerative braking, specifically designed to feel like the brakes on a clean-diesel coach, also performed as intended. “MCI has covered electric territory before with hyrbid 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,” said Mr. Pelletier.

MCI also plans to apply its battery-electric platform to the D45 CRT LE Commuter Coach followed by the electric 35-foot MCI J.

MCI President Ian Smart added: “We foresee our all-electric J4500e as the next frontier for MCI, with our MCI D45 CRT LE offering the same electric propulsion platform. 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.”

MCI will next move its all-electric J4500 test to Northern California, where public and private operators are concentrating their electric expansion for key customers.

 

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