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FlixBus and MCI Test America’s First Long-Range, 100% Battery Powered Coach in California

E-Bus FlixBus US

++ FlixBus is the first long-distance bus company to test an all-electric route ++ Sacramento-San Francisco chosen as exemplary route for e-technology ++ Flix to be CO2 neutral by 2030 via electric, hydrogen, biogas and other tech

SAN FRANCISCO, October 29, 2019 – FlixBus, the world’s leading mobility startup, is making history with MCI by testing America’s first long-range bus with 100% battery power. The D45 CRTe LE CHARGE, MCI’s first all-electric coach designed for long distance travel, was tested by FlixBus on a round trip from San Francisco to Sacramento on Monday, October 28. This test was the first of its kind in the United States; FlixBus also launched the world’s first E-Buses on long-distance lines in 2018 beginning in France and Germany.

“Testing the first all-electric coach in America is not only a huge milestone for FlixBus but for the travel industry as a whole,” said Michael Kahn, Head of Business Development at FlixBus USA. “At FlixBus, we are dedicated to providing 100% CO2-free travel by 2030, and we are grateful for the manufacturers such as MCI that are investing in a future of sustainable transportation right here in the United States.”

After the successful test run, FlixBus will work with bus partners and MCI to order the coaches in 2020 for key corridors including Los Angeles to San Diego, San Francisco to Sacramento, Portland to Seattle and New York to Philadelphia. MCI says it has developed the MCI D45 CRTe LE CHARGE at a time when both public and private transport operators are looking for zero-emission options.

“FlixBus is changing the way people access transportation by applying their innovative model to better connect people to places by bus,” said Brent Maitland, MCI vice president of marketing and product planning. “The iconic brand’s long-distance application presents an ideal format to demonstrate our electric platform because of our roles as mobility solutions providers to mitigate congestion and improve the environment." FlixBus also highlights that being ecologically minded should no longer be reserved for the elite.

“Not everyone can afford to purchase a $40,000 – or more – electric car, but soon everyone will be able to buy a ticket for an average of $10-15 on the electric FlixBus,” said Kahn. “We want to make sustainable travel something for everyone.”

FlixMobility Pushing the Envelope on Green Long-Distance Travel

Bus travel is already the most-sustainable form of long-distance travel in the United States as well as many other countries. But, in a time of urgent climate needs, FlixMobility has dedicated itself to being 100% carbon neutral by 2030, whether by electric, hydrogen, biogas or other clean power alternatives.

E-Buses: The United States is the third country in the world where FlixBus has been the first to launch electric, long-distance buses. In 2018, FlixBus became first company in the world to test e-buses on their long-distance bus routes. Beginning in April 2018, the first all-electric Flix-E-Buses began test operations with the premiere route between Paris and Amiens, France, which is still in operation today. The following October, the same buses launched in Germany, traveling between Frankfurt and Mannheim. In Germany, the buses run on electricity provided by Greenpeace Energy.

Green Trains: In March 2018, FlixMobility launched its first green trains, beginning in Germany. These trains run on 100% renewable energy from Greenpeace Energy. In 2020, FlixTrain will launch on routes in Sweden and is considering locations across Europe following the liberalization of the European rail industry next year.

Hydrogen / Fuel Cell Power: The next lighthouse project will be a bus fleet powered by fuel cells. Where electrical buses are currently able to drive short-to-mid range before recharging, fuel cell powered vehicles are able to drive at least 500 kilometers (just over 300 miles). This project will be done in cooperation with Freudenberg Sealing Technologies of Germany, and multiple bus manufacturers are considering the project. In the first phase of the FlixBus fuel cell project, a representative bus fleet will be equipped with the technology as a pilot.

Biogas: In the interim between regular diesel buses and electric/hydrogen buses, FlixBus will focus on buses fueled by biogas. We are currently in conversations with manufacturers and will announce the models early next year. Germany, Italy and the BeneLux region are being considered for the first pilots based on the availability of the fuel.

“Commitment to sustainability is not just a trend at FlixMobility, it’s our mission as a company and our obligation to society,” said André Schwämmlein, Founder and CEO of FlixMobility. “We are completely dedicated to not only working with the technologies that are available for long-distance transportation but also encouraging the industry to push the envelope, to search for other opportunities and to invest in the future of our planet.”

Pushing the Envelope in the USA

MCI says it plans to deliver a 100 percent electric coach that performs the same or better than their current clean diesel, hybrid and CNG models.

The MCI D45 CRTe LE CHARGE will feature a 750 V high-torque Siemens electric drive motor with 350 HP and maximum torque of 3,320 ft-lb, powered by a 389 kWh (also available up to 544 kWh) energy storage system built on the ultra-high energy NMC lithium-ion cell platform from US-based XALT Energy. To meet long-distance commuter needs, this model’s high-power plug-in battery follows the J1772 interoperability standard, and charges to full in less than 3 hours with a 150 kW in-depot charger.

The model is also equipped with MCI Connect Telematic, a system that measures key performance metrics including distance and time on route, auxiliary systems, along with battery efficiencies related to grade and ambient temperature in real time.

Download Press Release (PDF)