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Electric coach to set world record on Kamloops-to-Vancouver trek

Published by KamloopsNow

TRAXX Coachlines hopes to set the world record for longest electric-bus trip with this J4500 Charge, 56-seat, zero-emission model made by MCI Motor Coach Industries in Winnipeg.

It’s as much about the elevation as it is the distance.

TRAXX Coachlines, which has offices in Kamloops and Kelowna, hopes to set a world record Monday with a 380-kilometre electric-bus journey from Kamloops to Vancouver that includes a hefty elevation gain of 830 metres (or 2,723 feet) between Kamloops and the Coquihalla Summit.

“This has never been done before,” said TRAXX director of business development Steve Ceron from the company’s Kamloops office.

“We’ll be documenting everything for submission to the Guiness Book of World Records.”

While setting a world record will be cool, TRAXX says going electric is all about being more environmentally friendly.

“Our company and CEO Matthew Cox wants to step up and do our part to make a difference,” said Ceron.

“It aligns us with the industry’s future.”

TRAXX, which also has offices in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary and Medicine Hat, is a charter and tour bus operator with numerous divisions that has a fleet of 240 motorcoaches.

While it maintains its fleet well for maximum fuel efficiency, the buses are still powered by fossil fuels.

The delivery of its first electric bus, the no-emission, plug-in, J4500 Charge from MCI Motor Coach Industries in Winnipeg is the start of a move to more battery electric and fuel-cell buses.

It also lends itself to a special event such as the world-record-setting ride leaving Kamloops Monday morning and arriving about four hours later at the Vancouver Giants Hockey Club facility in Delta.

“It’s a great tie-in with the Vancouver Giants because we do all the charters for the team,” said Ceron.

For the whole trip, a Tesla all-electric car and another great tie-in, will drive beside the bus capturing video, photos and data to commemorate the occasion and collect information needed to submit to the Guiness Book of World Records.

The three huge American-made XALT lithium ion batteries that power the bus allow it to travel at highway speeds, smoothly and quietly.

The batteries can be fully charged with a four-hour plug-in and also partially recharge with stops and starts while the bus is being driven.

The cost of the bus wasn’t disclosed, but Ceron said it’s more than a traditional bus, but worth the extra initial investment for the fuel and environmental savings that come in the future.

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