All Aboard America! Holdings has bought the largest battery electric double decker motor coach in the US by Lightning eMotors and ABC Companies. The vehicle is a Van Hool bus gone through a conversion process. It is now powered with 640 kWh battery capacity.
All-electric powertrains provider Lightning (which has recently signed an agreement with school bus manufacturer Collins Bus with the goal of manufacturing and deploying zero-emission, all-electric Type A school buses) worked with their motor coach dealer-partner ABC Companies to deliver a single deck motor coach to All Aboard America! in Mesa, AZ in January of 2021 and to develop the double decker, a Van Hool TD925 repowered double-decker electrified by Lightning eMotors from diesel to all-electric. It has a seating capacity of 70 people. It is scheduled to be delivered and deployed later this month.
Diesel coach converted to electric power
“There are nearly 35,000 diesel motor coaches on the road in the U.S. today, and the vast majority of them are ideal candidates for electrification,” Kash Sethi, Chief Revenue Officer of Lightning eMotors, said. “Electrifying these existing diesel vehicles has a strong financial and environmental business case. It keeps the chassis and premium bus body out of the scrapyard and enables the move to zero-emissions with a dramatically lower cost than buying a new motor coach, diesel or electric.”
“We are thrilled to have had the chance to partner with Lightning eMotors on this important project,” said Roman Cornell, President and Chief Commercial Officer of ABC Companies. “The first repowered motor coach that Lightning delivered has performed superbly while meeting range, noise and performance targets to seamlessly integrate within transitioning fleets of new electric and existing combustion-powered coaches.”
All Aboard America holdings to deploy an electric coach
“As large corporate campuses begin to open up after COVID-19, we are seeing an increased interest in zero-emission employee transportation,” said Bill Trimarco, CEO of All Aboard America! Holdings. “Not only do electric buses provide an attractive total cost of ownership, but the clean, quiet ride makes them perfect for employees or students that want to collaborate or do other work while commuting to or across corporate campuses.”
“We are honored to partner with Bill and All Aboard America!. I am excited to see the expressions on riders’ faces when they first experience this coach—the ride is simply amazing, and not having to idle while waiting is game-changing,” said Tim Reeser, CEO of Lightning eMotors. “In addition, as we work more with corporate and college campuses, we see an opportunity to take our drive-by-wire technology to the next level and fully autonomize it for campus operation.”