ABC Companies, a leading provider of motorcoach, transit and specialty passenger transport equipment in the USA and Canada, today announced that the new Van Hool CX45E zero-emission, electric motorcoach has been approved by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) for the Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP). Both the 2020 and 2021 production models of the Van Hool CX45E qualified for a $120,000 voucher which can help California fleet owners offset incremental costs during EV infrastructure build-out, while also helping to accelerate their own carbon-neutrality goals.
“Electric coaches offer solutions for organizations and corporations who are committed to carbon neutral goals”, said Roman Cornell, president and chief commercial officer of ABC Companies. “As governments continue to set ambitious goals to cut emissions and fleet operators switch to zero-emission vehicles, EV adoption will only accelerate. Moreover, programs such as the CARB HVIP project are available to supplement transition to EV integration and aid fleet owners in launching their zero-emissions initiatives right now”.
Commercial fleet owners are increasingly weighing the benefits of fleet electrification and embracing zero-emission, electric vehicles. ABC Companies is leading the ZEV charge with an expansive portfolio of production electric vehicles suitable for numerous applications, from 12 passenger vans to premium motorcoaches which are available now.
Currently used for corporate commuter shuttle-service in and around the San Francisco Bay area, the CX45E is aligned with mobility trends that demand cleaner, more efficient transportation. Working closely with customers and using data gleaned from the vehicles via ABC Connect Telematics powered by ViriCiti, ABC’s SVT (Specialty Vehicles and Technology) team scrupulously study every kilowatt consumed during operation to understand and optimize the vehicle’s overall efficiency. The first in-service production unit regularly exceeds 250 miles of range capability in real-world application. “While these actual ranges are impressive, the kWh use per mile is the true test of efficiency as range can be adjusted with battery software, size or other variables. However, the amount of energy required to power the vehicle in operation is an indisputable fact. The results of this key measure continue to exceed our expectations, leading to our longer than projected ranges”, continued Cornell.
“From the integration of the Proterra battery system to the configuration of auxiliary components, the CX45E has been precisely designed and engineered for an electric motorcoach specific application. With ranges and vehicle efficiency exceeding our initial projections, ABC customers are realizing the benefits of this tested and proven electric vehicle technology,” said Cornell.
By processing collected data, leveraging analytics and understanding the user (drivers and passengers) experience, ABC’s “Plug Into Savings” onboarding program is designed to optimize all aspects of EV operation to net a seamless journey to EV integration and helping customers realize the full benefit of their EV strategy. Designed to guide them through each critical step from route modeling and planning, to charging infrastructure, telematics, equipment maintenance and service, as well as driver familiarization and training, ABC can help fleet owners create a blueprint for electrification.
“For both ICE and EV fleets, smooth operations require constant insights into a wide range of variables. From driver monitoring and equipment performance to understanding energy usage and accurately allocating charging and infrastructure support, daily customer input combined with real-time insights are allowing us to quickly identify opportunities to optimize and expedite integration of the CX45E into existing fleets,” says Brian Nelson director of technical solutions ABC Companies.
Real-time, real-world learning is crucial to constant program refinement that can impact daily operations and reveal opportunities for greater optimization. For example, EV drivetrain monitoring provides full visibility into charging processes to troubleshoot any issues, perform timely maintenance and understand usage patterns. Also studying driver behavior during operation and completing enhanced training, allows drivers to make a seamless transition from ICE operation. “We are continuing to see the impact drivers have over energy usage which is exciting, as skilled drivers can measure their impact on overall range, energy consumption and ultimately savings,” stated Thom Peebles vice president, marketing ABC Companies.
ABC’s historically service-intensive approach has provided an unplanned advantage for customers during electric deployment, and industry leading partners, like Proterra share the same conviction to unwavering customer support and fleet uptime. Throughout the “Plug Into Savings” onboarding process, a flexible and agile support team of specialists in vehicle design, battery design, charging and infrastructure, maintenance and energy utilization, provide the expertise behind the seamless operation of these coaches, integrating the benefits of zero emission vehicles into today’s fleets.