ABC Companies launched a Phase II Zero Emissions Cross Country Tour, which kicks off departure from ABC’s Newark, Calif., facility this week.
The ABC “Charge on America” Zero Emissions Cross Country Tour follows a previous series of cross-country road test demonstrations of the Van Hool CX45E and TDX25E 100% battery electric premium motorcoaches, as well as a number of fully electric cutaway shuttles and vans. Utilizing publicly available charging stations located along the test routes, the EV coaches and units have successfully logged thousands of miles enduring variable road conditions, climate conditions, and elevation gains — readily meeting projections for range, commercial charging capability, energy recovery, and more.
The Phase II tour departed from ABC’s, Newark location bound for company headquarters in Winter Garden, Fla. During the 2,785-mile coast-to-coast journey, ABC will test its 100% fully electric Van Hool TDX25E 45-foot double deck coach, equipped with a Proterra battery system. The cross-country trip is designed to create awareness for ABC’s robust portfolio of electric vehicles — ranging from eight- to 75-passenger capacities.
Moreover, relying exclusively on public chargers throughout the route, the tour will examine the need for dedicated commercial passenger vehicle charging infrastructure specifically designed for heavy-duty electric vehicles.
Many operators who currently run high-capacity EVs in their fleets have experienced firsthand the limitations and challenges when utilizing today’s existing system. The ABC “Charge on America” tour aims to collect public charging infrastructure data and identify areas for improvement within the grid —as it directly impacts high-capacity passenger travel for EVs like the Van Hool TDX25E double-deck motorcoach.
Adding a Challenge
To further demonstrate the viability of battery-electric motorcoaches, and gain customer feedback while pushing the vehicles beyond their intended regional use routes, ABC Companies’ CEO Roman Cornell issued the cross-country tour challenge to its clean-diesel coach customer, Peoria Charter, based in Peoria Ill. Specifically, the challenge was issued to James Wang who is employed by Peoria Charter and began the highly popular YouTube channel, Motorcoach World.
“After seeing how James and his Motorcoach World channel was trying to objectively educate the industry on various technologies, motorcoaches, and trends, I knew James was the man for the job,” said Cornell. “He is not afraid to provide an authentic review and he will share the good, the bad and even the ugly, but always in an objective way, through the lens of a motorcoach operator. With electric Van Hool motorcoaches making up over 20% of our total deliveries by the end of this year, we need people like James to provide the facts about what these EVs can and just importantly, cannot do in operation.”
In addition to the daily live streams, Wang will provide post trip coverage via Motorcoach World and VLOG on his own channel. Follow this link to the Motorcoach World channel where James announces the trip and invites his audience to come along.
The Van Hool TDX25E tour vehicle is also equipped with Starlink to deliver broadband internet capable of supporting the streaming planned for the “Charge on America” cross-country tour. The installation of the Starlink system will be incorporated as part of the current field testing being conducted by ABC Companies utilizing the system.
As with other new technologies, including recent items such as solar panels and other technology-based solutions, ABC Companies’ Technical Solutions team will accumulate data to optimize for use in commercial passenger applications.