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Topic Author
Posts: 137
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 11:55 pm

Electric Vs. Diesel Tows And Trucks: Stats?

Sat Feb 07, 2009 12:16 am

Hello. I am interested in general figures on what part of your airline's ground ops is electric versus diesel. From tows to baggage trucks to anything in between. Are some fleets all-electric? Are electric usually preferred, or is there a need to keep diesel due to operational challenges with an all-electric fleet? Is there some legal requirement to use electric? Thank you for the information.
Topic Author
Posts: 137
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 11:55 pm

RE: Electric Vs. Diesel Tows And Trucks: Stats?

Sat Feb 07, 2009 5:57 pm

I'll try again: GM-Chevy is spending billions to get an electric car on the road, yet at the airport we have all these vehicles on the tarmac running on electric. Basically I don't understand how can we have electric vehicles on the ramp but we can't get a mass-produced electric car on the road. How much time can an electric baggage truck operate without recharging? Are fleets all electric now? How can electric pushback vehicles push those huge planes without draining the battery? Or are all of these vehicles actually running on liquid fuel?
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Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2007 9:35 am

RE: Electric Vs. Diesel Tows And Trucks: Stats?

Sat Feb 07, 2009 6:53 pm

well, one thing you must understand(and i get the sense that you do not) is that electric motors behave differently than internal combustion motors(like diesels). IC engines have a torque curve that has a range of RPMs that it actually produces usable power and torque--which is why you have a transmissiont that keeps you in that sweetspot of 2-5k rpm generally. Electric motors can be designed in a way that they can produce MAX torque at 0 RPM which, in reality, is very good for towing. Train locomotives are actually electric motors. There are diesel generators that produce electricity that are fed into electric motors that actually move the train.

The reason why they are more prevalent than road cars? I would think that one reason is they are always close to 'home base' if they need a charge, then you plug em in. When people want to drive somewhere, you have to have the infrastructure on the way and at the destination(if it is far enough away) to support them recharging their vehicle. On the ramp, there will always likely be a station to charge them. Things like forklifts, lift trucks, etc. in factories and warehouses have been electric for awhile now...mainly due to emisions, but also due to you just plug them in at night. It is much simpler to place infrastructure on a finite area like a ramp than in an infinite number of places on cities and highways. We have it with gas stations, but how many years have gas IC cars been around? IT would take a huge investment to allow for infrastructure to make an electric car workable. The other problem is it takes time to charge batteries. You can't just fill it up in 2 minutes like a gas tank. Ramp vehicles could be left plugged in overnight.

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