Belgian manufacturer Van Hool has delivered its first CX45E coach to the USA, with another 10 to be shipped in the first half of 2021.
The CX45E is a 100% battery electric coach, and after a period of development and testing, it is now being launched commercially by Van Hool’s North American exclusive distributor ABC Bus Companies Inc. The coaches are fitted with E2 battery systems manufactured by American battery technology producer Proterra and have a claimed range of up to 500km (310 miles), depending on the climate conditions and the route’s topography. Van Hool expects that the CX45E will mainly be used for commuting by groups of employees and/or regular passenger transport.
Filip Van Hool, CEO of Van Hool, explained: “With this announcement it all became a reality: a few years ago we put the first technical concepts of the CX45E on paper, and today the end result leaves for the US. We were of course able to draw on our vast experience we have built up over decades in the design and production of electric buses. In 1985 we built the first trolley electric buses. In 2005 we were the first manufacturer to design a hydrogen-powered electric bus for the North American market, and the platform of our successful Exqui.City trambus can be equipped with different electric drivetrains. In total, more than 1,000 electrically powered vehicles have left Van Hool’s factory. And we will continue our efforts to market environmentally friendly and cost-efficient electric vehicles in the future, both in Europe and in our second home market North America.”
Filip continued: “Though not as prominent as in North America, in Europe too we see growing interest in a European version of the electric coach. With the experience gained in developing the CX45E, we firmly believe we are ready to quickly deliver a solution for customers who are looking for such a product, if European interest becomes more pronounced.”
Filip explained that the relationship with ABC Bus Companies is a long-standing one: “The cooperation between Van Hool and its distributor in the North American market, ABC Bus Companies Inc., began 33 years ago. After all these years of hard work, together we have managed to put Van Hool on the map in America. Today there are more than 11,000 Van Hool coaches and buses on US roads serving many customers, including a number of large Silicon Valley companies that organise shuttles for their employees.”
The CX45E was designed, developed and prototyped at the parent company in Koningshooikt, Belgium. The production-ready versions of the 10 CX45E coaches planned for the first half of 2021 will also come from the Belgian factory. The vehicles will be driven from Koningshooikt to Zeebrugge for shipment to the US.