In The News
Universal Coach Line Orders First Battery-Electric J4500 CHARGE™ from Motor Coach Industries
Published by National Bus Trader
NFI Group (NFI) a leading independent bus and coach manufacturer and a leader in electric mass mobility solutions, recently announced that its subsidiary Motor Coach Industries (MCI) has received a new order from Universal Coach Line (Universal) for one battery-electric, 45-foot MCI J4500 CHARGE™ coach.
The order, supported by provincial grants and sales tax rebates, marks the first purchase of a long-distance, battery-electric MCI J4500 CHARGE in Canada. The J4500 CHARGE – a zero-emission version of the industry’s best-selling J series tour and charter luxury coaches – leverages EV technology from NFI subsidiary New Flyer and delivers up to 370 kilometers of range, while also delivering enhanced safety features.
Serving more than 500,000 passengers annually, Universal is one of Canada’s largest privately-held providers of over-the- road bus and motorcoach tour and charter transport, including commuter express and employee shuttle service to Vancouver and surrounding areas. Based in Richmond, British Columbia, Universal currently operates MCI J4500 clean diesel coaches and made the shift to zero-emission following a J4500 CHARGE demonstration earlier this year.
“Universal is a veteran operator and longtime partner of MCI, and together we are creating a zero-emission future for coach travel across Canada,” said Paul Soubry, President and Chief Executive Officer, NFI. “We look forward to supporting the expansion of commuter express service and remobilization of charter service with our J4500 CHARGE – which was made for high performance through unmatched design and exceptional passenger experience.” Universal’s transition to battery-electric mobility fulfils its pledge as a member of West coach Electric Fleets, a peer network of public and private EV operators from California to British Columbia pursuing a mandate to accelerate a low-carbon economy on the West Coast. Universal also supports and has leveraged British Columbia’s CleanBC Go Electric program, which accelerates the adoption of zero-emission vehicles in B.C. We are proud to pursue this zero-emission milestone alongside Universal Coach Line, while delivering the same uncompromising design and quality from MCI,” Said Brent Maitland, vice president, private sector sales and marketing, MCI. “With plug-in depot charging in under four hours and an expected range of 370 kilometers, our electric coach is a proven performer in tough road and weather conditions. We look forward to building our zero-emission fleet with Universal in the future through continued support, service and training.”