Building on a successful record of supplying premium, heavy-duty, lithium-ion electric batteries to urban buses and other commercial vehicles, XALT Energy announces it is powering America’s first, long-distance, all-electric passenger coach in tests with private and public transportation providers in the United States. XALT Energy, a company of Freudenberg Sealing Technologies, is a Midland, MI-based global developer and manufacturer of lithium-ion technology solutions.
XALT Energy is working in partnership with Motor Coach Industries (MCI), a U.S.-subsidiary of NFl Group Inc. (NFl), to supply ultra-high energy lithium-ion battery packs for its zero-emission, MCI D45 CRTe LE CHARGE long-distance motor coach. The bus will be available to private and public transportation leaders in California and other states to test next-generation powertrain technology and improved accessibility developments. NFI, the parent company of New Flyer Industries Canada ULC and New Flyer of America Inc., is a bus manufacturer specializing in the manufacturing of transit buses and motor coaches and in the distribution of aftermarket parts. New Flyer is a long-standing, strategic customer to XALT and uses the company’s batteries to power its Xcelsior CHARGE all-electric urban buses that are running in cities across North America.
XALT’s ultra-high energy lithium-ion cell platform crucial to success
“We are excited to play an important role in getting this MCI test vehicle on the road and running – quietly, cleanly and reliably,” says Jeff Michalski, President XALT Energy. “XALT and its majority owner, Freudenberg Sealing Technologies, are committed to helping commercial vehicle manufacturers transition to new, clean electric energy sources with high-quality, single-source, in-house battery systems that meet all Buy America federal requirements.”
“We are prepared to deliver a 100% battery electric coach that performs the same or better than our current clean diesel, hybrid and CNG models,” says Ian Smart, MCI President. XALT’s ultra-high energy lithium-ion cell platform is crucial to this success. The XALT system is ideal for long-distance commuting needs. It ran between San Francisco and Sacramento, CA, in late October in a maiden road trip.
FlixBus, Europe’s largest operator of long-distance bus travel, will test the bus through its FlixBus USA operations. FlixBus is expanding its innovative city-to-city long-distance service model in the U.S. After successful testing, FlixBus plans to order more all-electric MCI buses in the U.S. in 2020, according to a recent news announcement, with a goal of being 100% carbon-neutral by 2030.
MCI will send its D45 CRTe LE CHARGE to Altoona, PA, for federal testing, as is required for all new bus models that are purchased using federal funds.
Unique combination of lithium-ion battery and fuel cell expertise
In yet another nod to developing sustainable powertrain solutions for the world’s commercial transportation systems, Freudenberg Sealing Technologies and FlixBus in Europe announced in October their intention to collaborate on a future project that will promote development of fuel-cell powered long-distance buses. Freudenberg’s extensive experience in fuel cell technology was strengthened in 2018 with the purchase of a Munich-based fuel cell manufacturer. Going forward, this unique combination of lithium-ion battery and fuel cell expertise positions Freudenberg Sealing Technologies to take a lead role in developing electric battery, fuel cell and hybrid system solutions that meet the needs of heavy-duty and commercial vehicle customers.
“As Freudenberg continues to invest in lithium-ion battery and fuel cell developments, we will pursue hybrid technology that addresses important issues like power, base load and unique operating cycles in a range of heavy-duty applications that include truck, bus, commercial marine and rail transportation,“ says Claus Moehlenkamp, CEO of Freudenberg Sealing Technologies. “We are focused on the future, and that future is going to demand sustainable transportation solutions that eliminate production of CO2 emissions. We are ready to partner with other global transportation customers to further leverage our expertise and knowledge on their behalf.”