Innovative Electric Articulated Buses for the Apron
All-electric mobility: Cologne Bonn Airport has acquired three new articulated buses with electric motors which are now part of the airport fleet. They are the first electric articulated buses that the manufacturer MAN has delivered to a German airport. The vehicles will be used on the apron and take passengers from the terminals to planes before departure or collect them from the planes after landing.
“Investments in our fully electric vehicle fleet are a key central pillar in our many-faceted sustainability activities,” says Thilo Schmid, President and CEO of Flughafen Köln/Bonn GmbH. “Acquiring the electric articulated buses is another enormous step for us towards climate-friendly mobility. In other areas, we are also successively replacing older models for new models with electric motors.”
“We are delighted that this delivery of the three vehicles to Cologne Bonn Airport is a première: the first articulated buses with electric motors from MAN for a German airport. This shows that our electric buses have a high level of market acceptance and are proving themselves in practical use,” explains Christoph Huber, CEO of MAN Truck & Bus Deutschland GmbH.
The electric articulated buses have space for around 100 passengers. The power is supplied by two electric central motors on the vehicle’s second and third axles. Unlike electric motors near the wheel hubs, these are easier to maintain. The buses will be charge at a new station at the airport’s depot and another, also newly built, charging station right on the apron. The infrastructure will now grow continuously.
For the batteries, MAN is using lithium ion technology. The fully electric articulated buses cover ambitious daily ranges of up to 350 kilometres, and actually much more in good weather. A total of eight battery packs with a total capacity of 640 kilowatt hours are placed on the bus roofs. This has the great advantage that they are easily accessible for servicing.
The airport has leased the three electric articulated buses, which each cost around EUR 700,000, for five years. This is also the case for seven hybrid articulated buses from MAN that have also been taken into service and have already been in use at the airport for several weeks. These vehicles save around 30 per cent fuel in comparison to conventional diesel buses. The electric motor is charged while driving.
Over the rest of the year, the airport will also acquire more vehicles with electric motors and replace older vehicles in this way. For example, in April some more new electric tow trucks for the airport’s baggage service will be added to the fleet.