MCI unveils battery-electric commuter coach

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NFI Group subsidiary Motor Coach Industries (MCI) has unveiled its new zero-emission commuter coach, the D45 CRT LE Charge, and launched its new D series of coaches. Charging to 100% in less than three hours, MCI says the battery-electric D45 CRT LE Charge incorporates three major innovations: it exhibits design advancements of the next generation D series; introduces MCI’s low entry vestibule; and integrates Charge technology propulsion from New Flyer. The low-entry vestibule in the centre of the coach provides a sunken lowfloor area for a wheelchair user and companions, meaning no need for a lift. “With the D45 CRT LE Charge marking our fourth EV introduced in 2021, NFI is undeniably leading electrification of mass mobility,” said Paul Soubry, President and Chief Executive Officer at NFI. “The new battery-electric D45 CRT LE Charge follows MCI’s introduction of the J4500 Charge, New Flyer’s Xcelsior Charge NG, and ARBOC’s Equess Charge – all leveraging shared EV technology. Together, NFI’s market-leading portfolio is enabling scalable zero-emission deployment across North America.” MCI describes the wheelchairaccessible D45 CRT LE Charge as ‘a high-performance electric coach leveraging enhanced regenerative braking and next-generation, highenergy batteries that deliver over 170 miles of range in the 389kWh model, and over 230 miles in the 544 kWh model.’ “We designed the zero-emission D45 CRT LE Charge with accessibility and passenger experience top of mind, and delivered on unprecedented ease of entry and exit with a patented low entry vestibule, a seating area and ramp that significantly improves dwell time, and improvements in the ride experience for passengers with mobility needs,” said Chris Stoddart, President, New Flyer and MCI. “Whether your goal is emissions reduction, lower operational costs, or to expand commuter express service, this coach delivers one of the safest, most comfortable, sustainable, and flexible mobility solutions available.” Alongside the D45 CRT LE Charge launch, MCI introduced the new D series – marking the next generation of MCI’s commuter vehicle and evolving the model with modern design. MCI says it incorporated customer feedback to ‘revolutionise’ design while maintaining quality, safety, workhorse reliability and comfort at highway speeds. The new D series will incorporate common systems and production, a stainless steel frame for durability, and styling that MCI believes provides an unmatched passenger experience, including improved cabin space and legroom, reduced cabin noise, a curved stepwell for easier entry and more ergonomic driver cockpit, along with improved ride quality.