Skytanking is testing fully electric fuel dispenser trucks at Brussels Airport
This winter, Stargate partner Skytanking is performing a large-scale test with two fully electric fuel hydrant dispenser vehicles to refuel aircraft at Brussels Airport. Skytanking leased these custom-built vehicles from Turkish Fuel Services, with the aim of gaining useful insights into charging solutions and battery performance. Over the course of the coming years, Skytanking plans to develop, test and use its own 100% electric factory-built hydrant dispensers, parallel to the establishment of the necessary airport infrastructural changes.
The main benefits of electric fuel hydrant dispensers are improved air quality for employees and the surroundings, zero exhaust emissions, and less noise. It is an important step towards the electrification of ground handling at airports. When charged with green energy, the fuelling of aircraft becomes carbon emission free. Interesting side note: while the test vehicles were produced in Turkey, they were designed in Belgium.
Skytanking is the first to test this first generation of industrial lithium battery hydrant dispensers on a European airport of this size, with significant distances that need to be covered. The intention is to deploy the electric fuel hydrant dispensers to the maximum, fuelling between 15 to 25 aircraft a day with one single charge per vehicle. The project is deliberately carried out in the winter season, as the cold and humidity can affect the data collection that forms the project’s main objective. The information retrieved until March 2023 will help to determine the ideal battery size for each truck and the optimal charging infrastructure. This way, the lifespan and cost efficiency of the customised fuel hydrant dispensers Skytanking will develop over the coming years perfectly match the characteristics of airports like Brussels Airport – or other European airports that can replicate this concept.