Plug Power, a provider of hydrogen engines and fuelling solutions enabling e-mobility, along with and Charlatte America, a manufacturer of battery-powered electric airport ground support equipment that is deployed throughout Europe and the US, have delivered fuel cell-powered electric cargo tugs for use by FedEx at Albany International airport.
The ground support vehicles were built by Charlatte America and operate using Plug Power’s zero emission ProGen hydrogen engines. The ProGen-powered tugs are currently in operation at the Albany International where they see service transporting FedEx packages from the sorting facility to delivery aircraft. Performance and reliability data were collected during the winter months, when temperatures can drop as low as -10º F. The Charlatte America electric GSE vehicles require less maintenance than internal combustion-powered equipment and are designed to support the ongoing market trend towards the electrification of mobile assets.
The addition of Plug Power’s ProGen hydrogen fuel cell technology enables the cargo tugs to tow up to 40,000 pounds without stopping, for a period of up to four hours; moreover, the refuelling process just three or four minutes. These zero-emission vehicles also operate with a high energy efficiency that is put around 45%. Predictably, the wear and tear on the vehicles is lower, thereby reducing maintenance demands such as oil changes, brakes and starter replacements. Consequently, these vehicles permit lower operational costs coupled with increased levels of productivity.