FlixBus is working with MCI to test the USA’s first long-range coach powered by 100 per cent electric power. The D45 CRTe Le Charge, MCI’s first all-electric coach designed for long distance travel, was tested by FlixBus on a round trip from San Francisco to Sacramento last month. This test was the first of its kind in the USA and follows FlixBus electric coach tests in France and Germany.
“Testing the first all-electric coach in America is not only a huge milestone for FlixBus but for the travel industry as a whole,” says Michael Kahn, head of business development, FlixBus USA. “At FlixBus, we are dedicated to providing 100 per cent CO2-free travel by 2030.”
Following the trial, FlixBus says it will work with its bus partners and MCI to order electric coaches in 2020 for corridors including Los Angeles to San Diego, San Francisco to Sacramento, Portland to Seattle and New York to Philadelphia.
“FlixBus is changing the way people access transportation by applying their innovative model to better connect people to places by bus,” adds Brent Maitland, MCI vice president. “The iconic brand’s long-distance application presents an ideal format to demonstrate our electric platform.”
The MCI D45 CRTe Le Charge will feature a 750V Siemens electric drive motor with 350hp and maximum torque of 3,320 ft/lb, powered by a 389kWh or 544kWh energy storage system based on an NMC lithium-ion cell platform from US-based XALT Energy. The coach can be charged in less than three hours with a 150kW in-depot charger.
FlixBus is highlighting the mass appeal of electric coaches: “Not everyone can afford to purchase a $40,000 – or more – electric car, but soon everyone will be able to buy a ticket for an average of $10-15 on the electric FlixBus,” said Kahn. “We want to make sustainable travel something for everyone.”