London’s Heathrow airport serves as a major world hub for travelers heading to various destinations around the globe. It subsequently therefore has a large carbon footprint. To help reduce said footprint, what’s being deemed as “a major new trial of electric vehicles” is happening there to determine if zero emissions cars and trucks could be used to meet “the highly demanding context of daily airport operations.”
The trial is being put on under the umbrella of the Heathrow Clean Vehicles Partnership and being managed by an entity known as Sustainable Transport Solutions out of the United Kingdom. During the month long trial a fleet of electric vehicles, including the Nissan Leaf, Peugeot iOn, Vauxhall Ampera and the Renault Kangoo Z.E, will be made use of for various operations.
Besides direct airport usages, the likes of British Airways, LSG SkyChefs and Gate Gourmet will use the electric vehicles mixed in amongst their normal fleets to “better understand the suitability or otherwise of EVs for their operations.”
Heathrow apparently already makes pretty extensive use of electric vehicles, including a fleet of almost 700 electric baggage tugs. With this trial, it is believed this potential could expand to other electric ground support equipment (such as cargo loaders and pushback tractors), as well as the latest on-road electric cars and vans now available in the UK.
“Ten per cent of airside vehicles are already electric,” said David Vowles, Air Quality and Noise Policy Manager at Heathrow said in a statement. “The Clean Vehicle Partnership facilitates collaborative working amongst Heathrow fleet operators as well as providing advice, guidance and training to reduce emissions. This trial gives fleet operators more experience of using electric vehicles and the opportunity to test their suitability for both airside use and on the road.”