Sydney Airport goes green with Electric Blu bus

Sydney's push to EV bus fleet is just the start

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Today Sydney Airport unveiled the first electric airport bus in Australia. Major airports put through thousands of passengers per day and many of them park in long-term parking, then need to be transported to their terminal. Airports use buses as an efficient transportation method, but their constant back and forward is burning diesel like its going out of fashion.

As as part of a $5 million investment in environmentally friendly ground transport technology, Sydney Airport’s flashy new Electric Blu bus is the first of a fleet of six electric buses. The remaining buses will be operational before the end of 2016 and replace the airport’s existing fleet that shuttle between the T2/T3 terminals and the Blu Emu Car Park.

Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Kerrie Mather said,

We’re proud to be the first Australian airport to introduce electric buses to our Parking and Ground Transport operations, which will reduce our carbon footprint and enhance the passenger experience.

These state-of-the-art electric buses can make up to 100 transfer journeys on a single charge, providing a clean and sustainable transport option for the two million travellers, visitors and airport workers who use the Blu Emu shuttle service every year.

Its estimate that the electric buses will deliver carbon emission reductions of around 160 tonnes per year. Any saving is a positive improvement, especially given the amount of jet fuel burnt each day. There are many additional benefits to electric vehicles than just the environmental ones. There’ll be lower noise levels for passengers and the shift to electricity over diesel should yield cost savings with a plan to add solar-power to the charging stations.

The bus comes from a joint venture between the world’s leading global electric bus manufacturer BYD and Carbridge and is known as ‘Toro’.

Carbridge Chief Executive Officer Luke Todd said,

“Carbridge is delighted to deliver to Sydney Airport this country’s first electric airport bus and in partnership with BYD we are excited to be at the forefront of electric bus manufacturing in Australia,”

Electric Blu can carry 70 passengers, luggage has a range of 400km on a single charge. One of the big questions when it comes to EV, is the recharge locations. Sydney Airport has invested in charging stations and other ancillary equipment to support the deployment of the new electric bus fleet.

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Of course buses are just one component of the vehicles operating at Sydney Airport and EV buses are really just the start. The airport is also conducting a trial of electric cars as part of its ground transport fleet.

The airport has implemented a range of other environmental initiatives, including:

  • Achievement of Level Two Airport Carbon Accreditation in recognition of its efforts to map, manage and reduce carbon emissions;
  • Establishment of a 25% carbon reduction target per passenger by 2020 and achievement of an 18% reduction over the past five years;
  • Offsetting carbon emissions through the Greenfleet program;
  • Installing energy efficient lighting;
  • Investing to support cleaner, quieter, more fuel efficient next generation aircraft; and
  • Implementing and supporting other electric equipment and vehicles such as electric tugs.

It has to be said, Sydney really do seem to be leading the way here with an environmentally friendly in traditionally dirty industry. Hopefully this motivates other major airports to follow suit.

 

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