Aircraft refueling vehicle goes electric

Passenger jets may be major consumers of fossil fuels, but the vehicles that refuel them need not be.

Engineering firm Gaussin and oil giant Total, which supplies jet fuel to 280 airlines at 300 airports around the world, are jointly developing a fully electric aircraft refueller transporter (ART).

The ART Full Elec (which could use a catchier name) is in development at the Airbus industrial site in Toulouse. The prototype will be capable of towing two fuel tankers with a fuel capacity of 30 tons each. Delivery is expected at the end of 2020.

Total subsidiary Saft, which has 40 years of experience producing batteries for electrified commercial and industrial vehicles, will provide the lithium-ion batteries for this future fleet. The batteries will be developed and manufactured at Saft’s facilities in Nersac and Bordeaux.

Sources: Total, Gaussin