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Electric buses for trial at Keflavik Airport

Electric buses for trial at Keflavik Airport

Isavia, the operator of Keflavik International Airport, has been evaluating the feasibility of replacing diesel buses, that transfer passengers between terminal and aircraft, with electric ones. For the trial, Isavia staff have driven a Mercedes Benz eCitario around the airport apron. The bus proves to be remarkably silent, with good handling, and very suitable for tarmac operations. Isavia already has already employed electric cars for some years. They fit the operations and conditions at Keflavik Airport very well, with flat land, short driving distances and readily available electricity from renewable sources.

The bus, borrowed from Reykjavik dealership Askja, is equipped for the Reykjavik public transit network and during trials, Isavia staff saw room for modification. For example, a version with fewer seats and more space for luggage and standing passengers would better suit airport operations. The most significant change, however, regards the size of the battery. As driving distances between aircraft stands and terminal are quite short, a bus with a range of 60-75 km per charge would be sufficient for Isavia. The public transit version of the bus has a large battery and an impressive range of 200 km per charge. By reducing the range to 60-75 km, the battery would take up less space, lowering the top of the bus and making it up to 2.5 tons lighter.

“We are very excited to replace as many of our vehicles as we can for more eco-efficient ones. In our Environment and Climate Action Plan, we emphasize that upon vehicle renewal, the eco-friendlier option should always be chosen,” says Elin Arnadottir, Isavia Deputy CEO. “We learned a lot from this trial and now the plan is to decide exactly how we want our dream bus to be equipped. This trial is one of many important steps on our way towards carbon neutrality, an ambitious goal at which we aim.”

Isavia follows the UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development and Airport Council International’s Airport Carbon Accreditation. Since 2015, Isavia has managed to reduce CO2 emissions by 40% per passenger.

More information on Isavia’s reduction of carbon footprint and plans towards a more sustainable airport are available in the online Annual and CSR Report: