Van Hool builds first 100% electric coach for the American market

- Koningshooikt, BE
Bus driving on road

Van Hool, the Belgian independent manufacturer of buses, coaches and industrial vehicles, will be the first to introduce a fully electric-powered coach of the type CX45E type on the North American market in 2019. Van Hool selected Proterra, a leading American producer of battery technology for heavy-duty vehicles, to provide the E2 battery technology. The 100% electric-powered vehicle will have an action radius of +300km and will be primarily used for travel between home and work for groups of employees and/or regular transports of passengers over shorter distances. The vehicle will be designed and developed at the Belgian parent company in Koningshooikt. The first prototypes will be built there as well. Just like the CX35, the CX45 is currently already being built in Skopje, Macedonia, and consequently the production of the CX45E will take place at that site.

"This announcement is the icing on the cake as we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the cooperation between Van Hool and its exclusive partner ABC Bus Companies Inc. on the North American market. After all these years of hard work to meet to our customers’ high expectations, we, together, have succeeded in putting Van Hool on the map in the United States. Today over 10,000 Van Hool coaches and buses are operating on North-American roads, including a number of large Silicon Valley companies that organise shuttle services for their employees as well as many other customers. After receiving requests from a number of customers for a fully electric-powered coach, we at Van Hool sought a solution. Van Hool is truly excited and proud to partner up with Proterra, a pioneering company in the development and production of battery technology," says Filip Van Hool, CEO of Van Hool. "The diesel CX45 coach has a proven track record, and in the meantime has become a benchmark coach on the American market. The integration of Proterra´s battery technology into the CX will take this coach to the next level. It’s a clear statement as to Van Hool´s long-term commitment to the North American coach market, while also showing how quickly we can respond to the needs of our customers."

The Van Hool coaches are designed for long-distance inter-city travel, with an emphasis on comfort for the traveller and operational safety for the customer. The CX45E shall be introduced first, to be followed later by the shorter CX35E coach model. The new CX45E and CX35E both share the Proterra E2 battery technology. This is the same E2 battery technology from Proterra with which the world record was recently set with a range of 1,101.2 miles on a single charge. The first deliveries are anticipated during the first half of 2019.

Over the past three decades, ABC Companies has helped Van Hool to establish distribution, sales, parts and service networks over the entire North American territory, and naturally ABC Companies shall also be responsible for the market introduction of the CXE.

With the CX45E, Van Hool and ABC Companies are responding to the demand for a truly zero-emission solution that can improve the environmental quality and reduce operating costs, while the performances, reliability and safety characteristics of the Van Hool CX line remain the same. The decision to offer a completely electric product is a direct reflection of the constantly changing market needs that are inspired by ´clean energy´ initiatives, sustainable transport solutions and the specific preference of North American consumers for green technological solutions.

The Van Hool CX45E, equipped with Proterra´s advanced electric vehicle technology, is designed in such a way as to be the most efficient and best-performing long-distance ´eCoach´ on the American market. The full electric coach is expected to successfully keep hundreds of thousands of kilos of greenhouse gas emissions per year out of the air, while at the same time saving customers tens of thousands of dollars on fuel and maintenance expenses. Given that the vehicle contains fewer moving parts and there are no exhaust fumes, the electric bus will also offer passengers a more comfortable, cleaner and quieter experience.

“Entering the motor coach market and electrifying more fleets alongside Van Hool, a proven market leader, is a key milestone for Proterra and for the heavy-duty electric transportation industry,” said Ryan Popple, CEO of Proterra. “Having proven our EV technology in transit, we’re pleased to expand our reach and help other heavy-duty commercial vehicle applications go electric.”

About Van HoolVan Hool

Van Hool is a Belgian manufacturer of buses, coaches and industrial vehicles. The company, founded in 1947, is based in Koningshooikt. The vast majority of its production is destined for Europe and the United States. Van Hool has more than 4,750 employees worldwide, the majority of whom, naturally, work at the production sites in Koningshooikt and Bree (Belgium) and in Skopje (Macedonia).

About ABC CompaniesABC Companies logo

ABC Companies is a leading provider to the transportation industry with diverse product and service offerings that cover a full spectrum of operational needs, including new and pre-owned fully-equipped coaches, and advanced-design heavy-duty transport equipment. ABC supports customers with a comprehensive after-sales network for maintenance and repairs, breakdown services, extensive OEM and high-quality after-sales parts necessary for public transport and coaches from 11 strategically-placed locations throughout the US and Canada. The company is one of the largest financial service providers within the industry.

About ProterraProterra logo

Proterra is a leader in the design and manufacture of zero-emission heavy-duty vehicles, enabling coach fleet operators to significantly reduce operating costs while delivering clean, quiet transportation to local communities across the United States. With more than 400 vehicles sold to 42 different municipal, university and commercial public transport companies in 20 states, Proterra is committed to providing state-of-the-art, high-performance vehicles to meet today´s growing market demand. The company´s “Configurable Catalyst” platform is capable of serving the full daily mileage needs of nearly every American transit route on a single charge. With unmatched sustainability and energy efficiency based on rigorous American certification testing, Proterra products are developed, designed and produced in the United States, with offices in Silicon Valley, South Carolina and Los Angeles.

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