Tesla, Volt, Prius, Leaf… all electric vehicle names we’ve mostly become used to hearing and seeing out on the roads. But a 100% electric motorcoach? Big people movers are diesel for a reason… right? Honestly, I was unsure of how such a large vehicle would make the drive over the mountainous Coquihalla Highway. TRAXX put the invite out to staff, media and others in mid-August. In partnership with MCI, Traxx would attempt to set a Guinness World Record for longest and highest voyage of an electric motorcoach. Lean, green and electric. Would we make it all the way from Kamloops to Vancouver in one charge?
Our journey began at the Canada West Coachlines shop location in Kamloops. As the coach arrived curbside, many remarked at just how quiet it was. After an indigenous blessing we boarded the coach to begin the electric adventure.
While many of the usual coach sounds were present, there was definitely an absence of both engine and transmission noise. The journey was smooth and as we crested the Coquihalla summit, Steve Ceron, Director of Business, let us all know that the battery levels were looking good. An onboard representative of MCI estimated that the coach would gain quite a bit of charge from the upcoming desecent. And, boy, was he right. Upon reaching our final destination the coach had 100 plus kilometers of spare charge left.
Upon arrival we were met by a Steamworks reception that featured a variety of beer, delicious sliders, deep fried pickles, lobster macaroni and tasty cheeses. Feeling accomplished, we enjoyed the afternoon and chatted about the record we all new had just been set.
The next morning we boarded the coach for the second day which would test the electric abilities in and around the beautiful city of Vancouver. Whisper quite, the MCI J4500 CHARGE really showed its capabilities here. I personally hadn’t realized just how much noise a traditional coach made when simply touring within a city. Granville Island, Chinatown and Kitsilano were lovely to view from the large windows and in such peaceful near-silence.
While the technology is still new, I am hopeful for a greener future. As said by CEO Matthew Cox: “The pandemic has overshadowed an important transition that is occurring in the transportation industry. The transportation industry is undergoing a once-in-a-century, fundamental shift. TRAXX is planning to harness the confluence of the vehicle technology boom, energy efficiencies, artificial / autonomous intelligence, intermodal connectivity, seamless technology integrations, omni-channel customer interfaces, and universal e-commerce platforms. TRAXX is looking to be at the forefront of this evolution.”
The technical information on the MCI J4500 CHARGE is fascinating but extremely detailed. If you’d like to read more about it, click here.
What an electrifying adventure it was. I am excited to see where this technology will lead. Sun Fun Tours knows the benefits of motorcoach travel and so do you. How amazing it will be to one day board an electric coach as we set off on another adventure together.
Amelia, your Sun Fun Tours gal.