Kuala Lumpur International Airport Terminal 2 (KLIA T2) will soon see two new EV tractors put to work following a successful trial conducted by Ground Handlers Ground Team Red. The two new units will be tested as part of its long-term plans in reducing carbon emission by not being heavily dependent on the current fleet of diesel-powered tractors to run their operations. The move is also expected to optimise operational costs and efficiency for the company’s growing list of airline and cargo customers.
What are the EV tractors?
We’ve all watched those tractors pulling baggage carriers and they are used to push aircraft out of their parking bays, but they have many other operational uses including maintenance.
Ground Team Red (GTR), the ground-handling joint venture between SATS Ltd (SATS) and AirAsia, has taken a significant step towards sustainability and innovation by trialling two Hangcha Aviation Tractor Model QSD320-XD3-MAI electric vehicle (EV) leased into their ground handling operations. This transformative move is part of GTR’s commitment to reducing its environmental footprint, enhancing efficiency, and embracing long-term plans in reducing carbon emission by not being heavily dependent on the current fleet of diesel-powered tractors.
The two new EV tractors will be tested at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport Terminal 2 (KLIA Terminal
2) as part of daily operations. Introducing the two new units, GTR CEO Musdalifa Abdullah said they are part of the company’s move to optimise operational costs and enhance the overall airport efficiency experience for its growing list of airline and cargo customers.
….. Beyond our commitment to sustainability, today represents a strategic choice that we believe will yield significant operational savings for GTR. We anticipate that the energy efficiency and lower maintenance costs of EVs will not only reduce our environmental impact but also positively impact our bottom line.
GTR conducted a comprehensive first phase trial run of EV tractors at KLIA Terminal 2 starting in August until mid September 2023 with the T137-V3 Electric Baggage Tractor model. The successful implementation of the EV tractors during this trial period demonstrated the feasibility and benefits of transitioning to electric vehicles for ground handling services.
During the first trial, GTR noted that the EV tractors could power its ground-handling operations for seven hours on a single charge, and saved approximately 58% of their overall operational cost. The company anticipates expanding the fleet of EVs if data gathered from the current usage demonstrates more positive outcomes.
GTR plans to deploy EVs across various aspects of its operations, including baggage handling, transport, and maintenance services. This initiative represents a significant investment in both technology and sustainability, showcasing the company’s dedication to providing the highest level of service while minimising its environmental impact.
The company remains dedicated to exploring additional sustainability initiatives as part of its ongoing commitment to environmental stewardship.