Vilnius Airport in Lithuania has begun testing a new prototype electric bus, Dancer, to reduce the level of pollution that the airport’s passenger transportation operations emit.
The 12m bus prototype was developed by a Lithuanian electric vehicle manufacturer, Elektrinio Transporto Sistemos, to carry approximately 90 passengers, with 32 seats and 56 standing places, two of which can be transformed into a single seat for a disabled passenger. The bus body is made of a composite material that contains recycled PET plastic. Due to its light weight, the electric bus needs less energy to drive, so its energy consumption is on average 0.72kWh for every 1km traveled. Funded by the European Union Regional Development Fund, the project has been designed to test the bus in real operating conditions for passenger transportation.
Marius Skuodis, the Lithuanian Minister of Transport and Communications, said, “The first steps are being taken at Vilnius Airport, although the road is still long, and ways to encourage ground handling companies to change their polluting transport are still being actively sought. We are already seeing a number of initiatives in Europe – electric airport buses, electric taxis serving incoming and departing passengers, interest in the deployment of other alternative fuel vehicles. The Dancer bus at Vilnius Airport is a great example of this. We are even happier that this passenger bus is the production of a Lithuanian company.”
Arnas Dūmanas, head of operations and infrastructure department of Lithuanian Airports, added, “We are really happy to contribute to the aspirations of the Lithuanian capital company, which we believe have the potential to become a global success. Lithuanian Airports are participants in the Net Zero initiative, which means that by using a wide range of solutions, we are looking for a way to reduce the carbon footprint in our activities and testing such a solution will be a step in our chosen direction.”
Linas Vaškys, CEO of Litcargus, said, “Such projects make it possible to understand how the next generation of transport can operate in real-life conditions, what benefits they can bring, as well as to know what else needs to be improved. After all, the results of this project will be used to improve further inventions, which is of great importance to the aviation sector.”
Alvydas Naujėkas, CEO of Vėjo Projektai, commented, “Aviation is always at the forefront of developing innovative transport solutions. By producing the lightest electric bus on the market, Dancer, we also learned from composite fiber masters who worked in the Airbus aviation cluster in Germany. Therefore, cooperation in testing the bus in the territory of the airport can bring positive results in the development of new technological solutions not only in the field of electric transport but also in aviation.”