Kansas City Airport became the first airport to integrate fully electric shuttles for passenger service today as it took delivery of four BYD 30 foot electric coaches.
The four buses will service the airport as parking lot shuttles, bringing passengers from the airport terminals to and from nearby parking lots. The airport shuttles were custom built for service in the airport at the BYD Bus and Coach Factory in Lancaster, California. That means they include luggage racks, among other things.
Airports represent significant sources of emissions in and around major cities due to the high-density emissions from air travel and the concentration of ground transportation utilized to get passengers in and out of terminals. While four buses is not going to have a significant impact on the emissions from Kansas City International Airport, it is a symbolic step that will show other airports just how well suited electric buses and shuttles are for airports.
Before I get assaulted with “we are past the time for symbolic steps” comments, I want to highlight just how important it is for first-movers to prove out use cases for new technologies. It may seem obvious to those of us who spend a significant part of our day on CleanTechnica, but transitions take time and first-movers should be celebrated. One of my least favorite parts of any flight is sitting out front of the airport waiting for a ride, sucking in tailpipe exhaust, so the prospect of cleaning that up with electric shuttles and buses is compelling. BYD clearly sees things the same way:
“BYD is proud to work with Kansas City International Airport to provide these four buses with zero tailpipe emissions, giving airport passengers a cleaner and healthier ride,” said BYD Heavy Industries Senior Vice President Macy Neshati.
“Kansas City International Airport will enjoy cost savings by operating the BYD battery-electric buses because they reduce fuel and maintenance costs by tens of thousands of dollars over the lifetime of the bus.”
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