Energy giant Total Group and engineering firm Gaussin are working together to create the world’s first 100% electric fuel truck for the aviation industry. Technically, the partnership calls it an “aircraft refueller transporter.”
The large electric aircraft vehicle will be equipped with a lithium-ion battery made by Total subsidiary Saft. The first model, named ART FULL ELEC (“ART” standing for aircraft refueller transporter), is expected to be used at the Airbus industrial site in Toulouse, France. The all-electric truck will be able to tow two 30-ton fuel tanks.
“The batteries will be entirely developed and manufactured at Saft’s facilities in Nersac and Bordeaux, in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of France,” the French partners indicate.
Development of a fleet of aviation-related vehicles is a solid move forward from Total, which must be focused on how it can and should diversify as the world quickly transitions to electric transport. Total has also invested in the solar energy sector in India, the US solar panel leader SunPower, leading smart energy startups Sunverge and Stem, and other cleantech ventures.
Total now supplies aircraft refueling technology to 280 airlines at 300 airports. Electrifying its fleet would be a notable step forward for cutting emissions (and potentially costs).
“This first firm order will enable Gaussin to expand its offering on the electric vehicles market and Total to provide a solution adapted to the refueling business. It also paves the way for the development of a fleet of innovative vehicles, specifically dedicated to aviation.
“With this development, Total illustrates its commitment to reduce its carbon footprint on the airport platforms it supplies and operates, alongside its customers and partners. Together with society, Total shares the ambition of becoming carbon neutral by 2050 for all of its activities, from its production to the use of the energy products sold to its customers.”
Naturally, it will be a bigger step forward when aircraft are electric and don’t need this kind of fueling transporter at all, but we aren’t quite there yet.
What do you think about this development? This is a new sector for CleanTechnica and we appreciate any insight you may have on both this project and the broader potential in this market.
Chip in a few dollars a month to help support independent cleantech coverage that helps to accelerate the cleantech revolution!