E-mobility at Frankfurt Airport: Upward Trend
The latest example is two electric buses from Wiesbaden-based airport bus specialist Cobus Industries GmbH, sponsored by the Federal State of Hesse, which now take passengers across the Frankfurt airport apron to the aircraft. The buses produce no local emissions and are especially quiet.
As well as being environmentally friendly, the electric vehicles have a number of other advantages, especially when used on the apron. The “stop and go” operations common here and the maximum permitted speed of 30 kilometers per hour present some classic combustion engines with thermal problems, but the energy and maintenance costs for many electric vehicles are lower than for conventionally powered vehicles. For this reason, there are already economic efficiencies to be made in the product life cycle of certain types of vehicles, such as conveyor belt loaders. And last but not least, e-mobility noticeably improves working conditions on the apron, so acceptance is also high among employees.
Fraport’s electric fleet at Frankfurt Airport
container lift trucks
conveyor belt loaders
electric tow tractors
container pallet transporter
plug-in hybrid cars
purely battery-powered electric cars
small electric tow tractors
electric forklift trucks
electric vehicles for disabled transport
Incidentally, Fraport is not the only operator of electrically powered ground support equipment vehicles at Germany’s largest airport. The Lufthansa subsidiary LEOS, a provider of ground handling services at major German airports, now uses two electric tow tractors here. These ensure that wide-bodied aircraft such as the Airbus A380 and Boeing 747 can be moved in an environmentally friendly way. The newest of the two models has been in operation for almost two years and was developed by the Swedish company Kalmar Motor AB. The electric drive with its 700 kilowatts ensures that even the largest passenger aircraft can be towed and pushed back to their parking positions, to the dockyard, to the gate or on the taxiway without harm to the environment. The maximum take-off weight of the aircraft is 600 tons – 15 times the weight of its own tow tractor.
Photos: Lufthansa LEOS, Fraport