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.