Budget bus line FlixBus, in partnership with motor coach manufacturer MCI, has tested a battery-electric long-range bus on a round trip from San Francisco to Sacramento. After the demonstration, MCI sent the new D45 CRTe LE CHARGE to Altoona, Pennsylvania, where it will undergo the standard tests required for all new bus models to be eligible for federal transit funds. MCI’s D range of coaches will be fully Buy America compliant.
The MCI D45 CRTe LE CHARGE features a 750 V Siemens electric
motor with 350 hp and 3,320 ft-lb maximum torque; and a 389 kWh (also available
in a capacity of up to 544 kWh) battery pack built on the NMC cell platform
from XALT Energy. The pack
follows the J1772 interoperability standard, and can be charged in less than 3
hours with a 150 kW in-depot charger.
According to MCI, the new bus will offer performance equal
to or better than its current diesel, hybrid and CNG models.
FlixBus began operating e-buses on long-distance lines in
France and Germany in 2018. The company plans to place orders for the new MCI
electric coach in 2020, to be used on routes including Los Angeles to San Diego,
San Francisco to Sacramento, Portland to Seattle and New York to Philadelphia.
“Testing the first all-electric coach in America is not only
a huge milestone for FlixBus but for the travel industry as a whole,” said
Michael Kahn, Head of Business Development at FlixBus USA. “At FlixBus, we are
dedicated to providing 100% CO2-free travel by 2030, and we are
grateful for the manufacturers such as MCI that are investing in a future of
sustainable transportation right here in the United States.”
“FlixBus’s long-distance application presents an ideal
format to demonstrate our electric platform because of our roles as mobility
solutions providers to mitigate congestion and improve the environment,” said MCI
VP Brent Maitland.