TRAXX Coach Lines, in partnership with Motor Coach Industries (MCI), set a world record this week with a trek between Kamloops and Delta in their electric bus.
Their newest bus, the J4500 Charge set the world record for the ‘longest and highest voyage by an electric motorcoach in North America’.
The bus departed from Kamloops and travelled along the Coquihalla to Delta on a 356km (221 mile) journey. The trip included travelling over the Coquihalla Summit, which reaches 1,440 metres of elevation, making it an ideal route to test out the electric bus’ regenerative braking system.
The steep inclines paired with equally steep declines allowed the bus to complete the 3 hour and 45 minute trip with ease. The company was aiming to have 45% of the battery remaining by the time they reached Hope.
It exceeded those expectations with the bus showing the battery still had 60% of its capacity left to reach their destination.
A Tesla vehicle accompanied the TRAXX bus, snapped media, and collected data for the group’s submission to the Guinness Book of World Records.
Three ZALT lithium-ion batteries power the J4500 Charge, which seats 56 people. The batteries on the bus charge in four hours and recharges when the vehicle starts and stops.
While the electric bus has proven itself on the roads, the biggest hurdle to mainstream adoption is still the cost. A comparable diesel bus costs around $600,000 CAD. The J4500 Charge costs around $1.3 million CAD.