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Sea-Tac Airport to convert all ground support vehicles to electric power

Seattle–Tacoma International Airport (Sea-Tac) has launched a US$31m (£19m) project to convert all its vehicles on the airfield from fossil fuels to electric power, which will save millions of dollars and tons of greenhouse gases at the US airport.

As part of the project, Sea-Tac will install nearly 600 electric charging stations that will power the airport’s ground support equipment, such as baggage tugs, bag ramps and pushback vehicles, which are being converted to electric power.

Converting the airport’s entire fleet of ground support equipment from fossil fuel to electric is projected to save US$2.8m (£1.7m) in airline fuel costs each year and 10,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually – the equivalent of taking 1,900 cars off the road.

“This project provides the infrastructure for airlines to convert their vehicles from diesel to electric in Sea-Tac’s effort to become the first major airport in the US to provide charging stations at all gates,” said Courtney Gregoire, co-president, Port of Seattle Commission, which runs the airport. “As many as 650 vehicles could eventually be covered by electric technology and make a huge difference in the airport’s carbon footprint.”

The port has installed bright yellow charging stations with fast-charging plug-ins for vehicles to receive a full charge in less than four hours. The technology determines which vehicle needs the most charge and metres out the power accordingly.

The first phase of the project will provide 296 charging locations throughout concourse D, C, and the north satellite. The second phase will cover the rest of the terminal at concourse A, B, and the south satellite, bringing the total number of charging locations up to 576 by September this year.

The project is a joint effort between the airport, Alaska Airlines, and Western Washington Clean Cities, an organisation dedicated to promoting the use of cleaner domestic fuels. Alaska Airlines said the transition is expected to save Alaska Air Group about US$300,000 (£182,000) a year in fuel costs.

March 20, 2014


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