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Belgium bus manufacturer Van Hool has shipped the first electric coach to the US. It is the CX45E, a 100% battery electric coach specially build for the North American market. Proterra, the American producer of battery technology for heavy duty vehicles, was selected by Van Hool to supply the E2 battery technology.
The CX45E will be launched in the US by Van Hool’s North American distributor ABC Bus Companies Inc.
After this premier, Van Hool's first electric coach, an additional 10 units will be shipped to the US in the first half of 2021. The all-electric CX45E will then be delivered to the two first North American customers. The CX45E has a range of up to 500km (310 miles), depending on the climatic conditions and the route’s topography. With the CX45E Van Hool's targets transport operators mainly active in commuting groups of employees and/or regular passenger transport. Filip Van Hool, CEO of Van Hool: “It now all became reality: a few years ago we put the first technical concepts of the CX45E on paper, and today the end-result leaves the factory to be shipped to 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.”
The cooperation between Van Hool and its distributor in the North American market, ABC Bus Companies Inc., began 33 years ago. 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 Van Hool's parent company in the city of Koningshooikt in Belgium. The production-ready versions of the ten CX45E coaches to be shipped to the US the first half of 2021, will also come from the Belgian factory. The vehicles will be driven from Koningshooikt to the port in Zeebrugge.
For Europe Filip Van Hool has promising words. He notices a 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 an electric coach solution for customers in Europe.”
In this Youtube video Van Hool presents its first electric coach, the CX45E
This article first appeared on www.focustransport.org
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