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Thursday, February 02, 2023

Faribault, Minn. — ABC Companies and partner Van Hool are excited to announce the development of an all-electric version of their market leading CX series coaches in partnership with Proterra, a leader in the design and manufacture of zero-emission heavy-duty vehicles. The new Van Hool CX45E and CX35E models utilize the proven CX platform, and will feature Proterra’s E2 battery technology along with a fully-electric drivetrain designed to deliver exceptional operational, environmental, and passenger benefits. The CX Electric Vehicle partnership will bring together the resources of three market leaders each committed to technology innovation.

The all-electric CX Series offering is well aligned with the stakeholders’ vision and mission of forging and integrating cleaner technologies that move the needle forward in mass transportation with zero-emission technology. “ABC and Van Hool are eager and poised to adapt Proterra’s best-in-class solutions that can help operators expand market reach and enhance the passenger experience,” said Roman Cornell, ABC Companies’ chief commercial officer. “We recognize the growing consumer demand for zero-emission products, particularly as it applies to moving populations throughout communities in the U.S. and North America.”

“We are responding to the demand for a truly zero-emission solution that can improve environmental quality and reduce operating costs, while continuing to deliver all the performance, reliability, and safety the Van Hool CX Series product line is known for,” said Jay Oakman, senior VP/commercial operations at ABC. He added that the decision to offer a fully-electric product is a direct reflection of changing market needs driven by clean-energy initiatives, sustainable transportation solutions, and green-technology consumer preferences and desires nationwide.

Van Hool has chosen Proterra as its technology partner for the CX Series Electric Vehicle project. “Van Hool is truly excited and proud to partner up with Proterra, a pioneering company in the development and production of battery technology,” said Filip Van Hool, CEO of Van Hool. “The diesel CX45 coach has a proven track record and has become a benchmark coach in its own right in the industry. Integrating Proterra’s proven battery technology in the CX will take this coach to the next level. It is a clear statement as to Van Hool’s long term commitment to the North American coach market and a testament to Van Hool’s responsiveness to the overall demand for zero emission vehicles at large and over-the-road coaches in particular.

“As corporations set ambitious sustainability agendas, the opportunity for all-electric fleets continues to mount,” said Ryan Popple, CEO of Proterra. “We’re pleased to enter the motorcoach market with proven market leaders, Van Hool and ABC.”

According to Oakman, the CX platform offers an unprecedented opportunity to capitalize on their most successful equipment offering in recent history. Both CX Series models will be offered with Proterra E2 battery technology. Introduced in early 2000, the CX product quickly became a market leader, precipitating the need for an additional Van Hool production facility to keep pace with growing orders and meet market demand. The European-based Van Hool plant features dedicated assembly and production lines for the CX products and other U.S. models. Operators nationwide utilize the CX45 and CX35 models in a variety of applications including large Silicon-valley employee-sponsored shuttles and commuter operations in major metro regions throughout the country.

Featuring Proterra’s advanced electric vehicle technology, the Van Hool CX45E is designed to:

  • Be the most efficient and highest performing long-range eCoach offered in the U.S. market
  • Eliminate hundreds of thousands of pounds of greenhouse gas emissions per year
  • Save customers tens of thousands of dollars on fuel and maintenance costs
  • Provide a more comfortable and quieter coach experience for riders
Notable CX45E and CX35E equipment features and highlights include:
  • Outside dimensions same as current CX diesel models
  • Passenger seating same as current CX models
  • One door version is standard, 2nd door is optional
  • Center positioned ADA lift is optional
Development is already underway and will continue. Operators will be able to test drive an electric CX45E coach at the Van Hool factory in late 2018, with deliveries beginning in 2019. The CX35E coach model will be introduced shortly thereafter. All of the partners anticipate strong demand for the new product. ABC will begin taking orders in 2018. Cornell envisions offering the CX all-electric models as a Buy America-compliant product in the near future.

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