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All-Electric Zero-Emission Buses

SFO Deploys All-Electric Zero-Emission Buses

The San Francisco International Airport (SFO) today announced the deployment of six 40-foot all-electric zero-emission buses and related electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Use of battery-electric buses will cut operating costs and reduce carbon emissions, supporting SFO’s Strategic Plan Goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2021.

“The addition of these all-electric buses to our fleet moves us closer toward a more sustainable world-class airport and helps us reach our aggressive zero-emissions goals,” said Airport Director Ivar C. Satero. “Deploying these all-electric buses can help us significantly reduce costs and emissions, while simultaneously improving the passenger experience. My thanks go out to the entire team who made this milestone possible.”

In FY 2019, SFO achieved a 41% reduction in GHG emissions from its 1990 baseline, and is developing and implementing plans to achieve up to a 95% reduction. SFO is also one of just a few airports in North America to achieve Level 3 “Optimization” through the Airport Carbon Accreditation program by the Airports Council International (ACI), the foremost advocate for airport operators worldwide.

SFO’s 5-Year Strategic Plan (2017-2021) sets a goal of carbon neutrality across airport-controlled operations by 2021. Additionally, SFO works with airline and business partners to drive emission reductions across all activities within the SFO campus. Reduction strategies have included:

  • Installation of air conditioning and electrical power to all parked aircraft, resulting in a reduction of 18,300 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions and saving 1,866,000 gallons of jet fuel; and
  • Construction of the AirTrain, an electric-powered greenhouse gas emissions-free light rail system which eliminated over 600 daily bus trips to shuttle passengers between terminals and the Rental Car Center; and
  • Creation of a Clean Vehicle Policy to promote the adoption and deployment of low emission vehicles, by both Airport departments and ground transportation providers; and
  • Programs to encourage Airport employees to take public transit to and from work; and
  • Convening a Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) Working Group composed of airlines, fuel providers, government agencies, researchers, and NGOs to drive use of SAF at SFO.

SFO currently provides buses to shuttle passengers between the terminals and long-term parking garages and other Airport locations. The SFO fleet currently has renewable compressed natural gas (CNG) and diesel-fueled buses, and the six new Proterra Catalyst E2 battery-electric buses will replace the remaining diesel buses in the fleet to run all regular daily routes. Designed and built by Burlingame-based transit manufacturer Proterra, the 40-foot zero-emission buses have 27 seats with luggage racks to comfortably accommodate passengers with their luggage. Since all-electric buses have no combustion engine, passengers will experience a quieter, smoother ride.

In addition to passenger benefits, the all-electric buses significantly reduce operating costs with its batteries equipped to last the entire daily route on a single charge and require no liquid fuel. The Proterra Catalyst E2 buses can be fully charged in under 4.5 hours for an operating range of up to 231 miles. Lower fuel prices and reduced vehicle maintenance costs will result in an estimated savings for SFO of about $4.5 million during the 12-year lifespan of these six new Proterra buses.

The new all-electric buses replace six renewable diesel buses in the regular operating fleet and will result in the elimination of more than 23.7 million pounds of greenhouse gas tailpipe emissions over the lifetime of these vehicles. SFO expects to purchase additional all-electric buses to replace existing CNG buses for a greener modern fleet.

From 1 March 2020, Brussels Airport’s passengers will be able to discover the new e-buses that will be used to carry passengers between their gate and the plane. 

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