A hybrid refuelling truck to curb airport carbon emissions
To reduce carbon emissions from its operations, Total is investing massively to renew and convert its fleet of refuelling trucks. All-electric models are on their way in addition to hybrid versions, which have the advantage of allowing existing vehicles to be upgraded and whole fleets optimised. In partnership with Titan Aviation, Total has commissioned a hybrid refuelling truck for Lyon’s Bron airport. Transition to more sustainable aviation.
An exemplary project for sustainable development in the aviation industry
Starting in 2019, this hybrid refuelling truck project in partnership with Titan Aviation is part of Total's broader determination to reduce its CO2 emissions. "We’re convinced that our equipment needs to evolve. By 2030, combustion engine refuelling trucks will be the exception", explains Florent Bernard, head of Total’s Aviation Division Engineering Department. A number of initiatives are under way to electrify the entire range of refuelling vehicles across France (about one hundred items of equipment). The project involves a total of 5 truck types ranging from small 3,000-litre to large 80,000-litre units. The hybrid truck developed with Titan is a 20,000-litre model that can be charged from a conventional 240V socket (about 6 hours charging time) for a run-time of about 2 days. The truck is called hybrid "because its powertrain uses a combustion engine for travel, while fuel distribution to aircraft is now provided by a totally secure autonomous electrical system (engine off)", specifies Joël Boiteux, head of Total’s Vehicle Division. The first hybrid vehicle is currently being tested at Lyon’s Bron airport. "We’re very pleased with the results, as Total's customers are highly satisfied and this project has generated a big following in the aviation industry. This is proof that the stakeholders are willing to move towards a greener model", Florent Bernard is happy to add.
Hybrid refuellers: cleaner, quieter trucks
The initial feedback is highly positive. For the operators, user comfort is improved with a full digital refuelling interface. There are also benefits for the customers: "much less noise, improved carbon footprint (it is estimated that exhaust gas emissions will be halved), and optimised maintenance costs", underlines Stéphane Hecky, Director of Operations at Titan Aviation. Another advantage of the technology developed by Titan Aviation is that existing vehicles can be retrofitted. "This is a real advantage for us, because we weren't planing to scrap trucks that were still in good condition", explains Florent Bernard. However, before conversion starts on the vehicles, the demonstrator has yet to be tested in other conditions, notably climatic and geographical. An initial first assessment is expected in the spring, before forging ahead towards a greener future!
Titan Aviation, a partner of choice for Total
A Pourprix group subsidiary, Titan Aviation has been in business since 1983 designing and manufacturing refuelling solutions. Aware of the need to switch to greater environmental accountability, the company has made major investments in research and production to offer greener ranges of refuelling vehicles. "As of this year, we’re aiming for the complete electrification of our fuelling solutions. By May, we will be able to hybridise trucks and optimise their emissions. And in 2022, we’ll be shipping a particularly innovative vehicle in terms of durability", reveals Stéphane Hecky.