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Heathrow to trial EVs in drive to reduce emissions

Over the next month, a fleet of EVs including the Nissan LEAF, Peugeot iOn, Vauxhall Ampera and the Renault Kangoo Z.E. will be trialled by four major organisations and operators at Heathrow.

In addition to Heathrow Airport Limited, which support sa potential switch to zero-emission ground based vehicles, British Airways, LSG SkyChefs and Gate Gourmet will be using the electric vehicles within their normal fleet to better understand the suitability or otherwise of EVs for their operations.

Following a detailed assessment of vehicles technologies last year, STS, which manages the Heathrow Clean Vehicles Partnership (CVP) and is coordinating the new EV trials, has recommended greater use of EVs at Heathrow; not only as a way to reduce life cycle CO2 emissions, but also as part of the NOx emissions reduction strategy across the airport.

STS director Dr Ben Lane explained: 'In addition to the fleet of almost 700 electric baggage tugs already in use, we see considerable potential for other electric ground support equipment (such as cargo loaders and pushback tractors), as well as the latest on-road electric cars and vans now available in the UK.'

David Vowles, air quality and noise policy manager at Heathrow Airport Limited said: 'Ten percent of airside vehicles are already electric. The Clean Vehicle Partnership facilitates collaborative working amongst Heathrow fleet operators as well as providing advice, guidance and training to reduce emissions. This trial gives fleet operators more experience of using electric vehicles and the opportunity to test their suitability for both airside use and on the road.'

Andy Heiron, head of Renault UK's electric vehicle programme, added: 'The EV trial will allows vehicle operators on the airport to experience and better understand the capabilities of Kangoo van ZE in this environment. With around 600 "conventional" Kangoo vans already in service at Heathrow we know this van is well adapted to airport use and are confident that this trial will demonstrate that the ZE version is ideal for the type of duty cycle most operators demand.'

Initial results from the Heathrow EV trials will be presented at the next CVP seminar on 6th December 2012. Information about the trials will also be available on the CVP website at www.sts-technology.com/cvp

Alex Grant

Trained on Cardiff University’s renowned Postgraduate Diploma in Motor Magazine Journalism, Alex is an award-winning motoring journalist with ten years’ experience across B2B and consumer titles. A life-long car enthusiast with a fascination for new technology and future drivetrains, he joined Fleet World in April 2011, contributing across the magazine and website portfolio and editing the EV Fleet World Website.

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