MCI Delivers First Canadian Zero-Emission J4500 CHARGE™ Coach To Universal Coach Line
Motor Coach Industries (MCI), a subsidiary of NFI Group Inc. (NFI), has announced that Universal Coach Line, based in Richmond, British Columbia, is breaking new ground as the first in Canada to take delivery of a zero-emission, battery-electric MCI J4500 CHARGE™ coach.
“Universal Coach Line, one of Canada’s largest private motor coach operators, views the zero-emission, 45-foot, 52-passenger coach as a game changer for its Vancouver airport, commuter, and shuttle service routes,” according to a press release.
“We expect our new electric MCI J4500 model will be the first of many,” Theodore Cheng, regional manager for Western Canada and a member of Universal Coach Line’s next generation leadership, said. “We are enthusiastic about the opportunities zero-emission coaches create. Battery-electric helps us fulfil the environmental goals of our contract and charter clients, as well as our own. The technology is attractive to riders, desirable to drivers, and will transform operations by reducing energy and maintenance costs.
“The contributions of our local officials and suppliers, together with MCI’s training, are appreciated by everyone at Universal Coach Line. It is an honor to bring a higher level of clean, sustainable transportation to Vancouver as our busy summer travel and tourism season gets underway.”
Universal Coach Line completed a test demonstration of the MCI J4500 CHARGE in 2021, installed a charging station from Electrum Charging Solutions at its maintenance facility, and already operates two electric minibuses.
“Supported by provincial grants and sales tax rebates, the J4500 CHARGE is a zero-emission version of the industry’s best-selling tour and charter luxury coach and the primary model in Universal Coach Line’s fleet,” according to the same release. “The electric edition leverages advanced EV technology from NFI subsidiary New Flyer, features Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) offering the latest safety technology, and delivers substantial clean air benefits, avoiding approximately 80 metric tons of greenhouse gas annually. Passengers can expect a quiet ride, best-in-class legroom, dramatic lighting, and comfort features throughout the cabin.”
“Our relationship with Universal Coach Line spans two decades,” MCI Vice President of Private Sector Sales and Marketing Brent Maitland said. “We look forward to supporting Universal Coach Line’s zero-emission vision with our reliable, high-performance battery-electric J4500 CHARGE coach, while also providing exceptional training and service support. It is great to see Universal Coach Line leading the move to sustainable commuter transportation.”