ABC Companies, a leading provider of motorcoach, transit and specialty passenger transport vehicles in the USA and Canada, today announced it has successfully completed a cross-country road trip aboard the battery-electric Van Hool TDX25E Double Decker motorcoach – demonstrating the vehicle range and strength of battery technology to meet the needs of motorcoach customers.
Beginning at ABC’s Winter Garden, Florida headquarters and ending at ABC’s Costa Mesa, California facility, the route included elevations in excess of 5,000 feet, passage through mountain crossings, and a variety of road and climate conditions over a distance of 2,500 miles. This is the company’s longest EV road test demonstration to date, surpassing a recently conducted 1,700-mile road test throughout the Northern California and Pacific Northwest region. The new EV double deck model completed the 2,500-mile journey, over six days utilizing public charging stations along the route. Similar to the CX45E vehicles in commercial operation, the TDX25E performed as anticipated, readily meeting projections for range, commercial charging capability, energy recovery and more.
From Concept to Commercially Available
The TDX25E production vehicle used in the demo is the first of its kind in North America, developed with and brought to market by ABC Companies to meet customer demand for higher-capacity, zero emissions transport.
“Our 56-passenger CX45E, introduced in 2020 provided the inspiration and the impetus for fast-track development and deployment of the new double-deck TDX25E”, said Roman Cornell, President and CCO ABC Companies. “Demand for these vehicles is very strong in many markets, and our technology partners, Van Hool and Proterra, have clearly demonstrated their ability to translate those demands into real-world solutions that can quickly integrate into fleets and provide reliable, repeatable results”.
TDX25E Expands ABC Companies EV Lineup – Offers Same Road Footprint as Single Deck, Increases Capacity.
The premium TDX25E double deck passenger coach is the battery electric version of the eco-friendly, high-capacity TDX series. With premium passenger accommodations and amenities for up to 69 passengers, the TDX25E increases passenger capacity to further reduce traffic congestion and emissions, while providing industry-leading range in an ADA compliant model designed for exceptional comfort, functionality, and style.
The 45’ coach integrates the industry leading energy dense battery system from Proterra, with a Siemens ELFA II powertrain to provide a quiet, smooth zero-emissions ride and plenty of power for efficient, dependable operation. ABC Companies Fleet Electrification Services captured real time data for the duration of the trip. The new TDX25E averaged an impressive 2.08kWh/mile for highway travel. Capable of a 71 mph top speed, the TDX averaged 60 mph during the demonstration. Total projected range per charge averaged 260 miles during the trip, while temperatures varied from 40 – 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The charging rate of up to 147 kWh enabled relatively short charging times, averaging just 3.5 hours. With a total storage capacity of 676 kWh, the coach never fell below 8% state of charge during the trip.
Passengers and Drivers Appreciate EV Benefits
“Response to our electrified vehicle lineup has been quite enthusiastic”, said Thom Peebles, Vice President Marketing ABC Companies. “Customers are very impressed with the ride quality, amenities and range of these vehicles, and as organizations commit to reducing their carbon footprint, high passenger capacity EV models like the TDX25E and CX45E are becoming an increasingly important option for fleet operators”. Empire Coach Line provided the driver for the TDX25E cross country demonstration. “Our drivers and staff have been amazed by the performance, comfort and smooth quiet ride of these coaches, while being able to quickly acclimate to operating these vehicles. From the simple charging process to the familiar driver controls and support ABC offers, integrating these electric vehicles has been much smoother than we thought possible”, stated Eddie Serrano, Vice President & General Manager- Empire Coach Line.
ABC Companies offering Complete Fleet Electrification Services
ABC’s holistic approach to fleet electrification encompasses key aspects of existing fleet management and operations to give owners a clear vision within their operations. Fleet integration, passenger capacity needs, available charging windows, EV infrastructure and more help ABC understand and guide owners to EV options that offer a right-fit for existing and future fleet operation. “We’re having great success with our approach to EV integration with public and private operators”, said Roman Cornell, President and CCO at ABC Companies. Cornell continued “By understanding operational needs right now, but just as importantly future needs, we can help fleet owners optimize their EV investment, see immediate benefits in terms of EV equipment management and cost of operation and avoid unpredictable outlays. Road tests such as the recently completed 1,700 and, 2,500 mile demonstrations, are an integral part of ABC’s fleet electrification services for commercial passenger transport. These tests generate critical data that enable continuous program development and optimization for ABC Companies and its technology partners. Real time monitoring and data collection offers insights to improve energy consumption. Moreover, monitoring driver behavior and extensive use of the public charging ecosystem demonstrated during this test can help guide future training modules and regional route mapping for example.”
ABC Companies offers an expansive portfolio of EV models and charging support for a wide-range of user applications. In partnership with OEM category leaders and EV repower specialists, ABC offers EV choices including:
- OEM single and double deck 45’ motorcoaches from global manufacturer Van Hool
- EV van and shuttles from Turtle Top and other leading manufacturers built on Electric Chassis
- Diesel to electric repowering of passenger vans to single and double deck motorcoaches
- Charging options from leading global manufacturers including ABB and ChargePoint