Motor Coach Industries (MCI), the U.S. subsidiary of New Flyer Industries Inc., says its all-electric J4500e prototype motor coach has successfully completed its phase one testing.

MCI says the coach ran “flawlessly” at both low and high speeds up to a sustained 70 mph on the highway. The vehicle is on schedule for January 2020 production, and orders are currently being taken, the company says.

The electric architecture incorporated in the MCI J4500e features a high-torque Siemens 2130 LB FT electric-drive system with a planned range to meet long-distance applications and a 450 kWh nickel manganese cobalt battery that enables 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,” states JP Pelletier, vice president of MCI.

MCI says Pelletier observed how the electric motor lessens interior cabin noise, increasing passenger comfort. The 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 hybrid diesel-electric coaches built in early 2000s that are still in service, but with the all-electric platform, we’re benefiting from New Flyer’s long time, battery-electric low-floor transit expertise,” explains Pelletier.

MCI will now move its testing to northern California. The all-electric J4500e will make its way around North American test sites over the next few months.

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