All-electric aircraft tug introduced at Munich

Introduction of the new vehicle helps to steer the airport towards its goal of being net-zero by 2030

Aircraft can now be moved fully electrically with new resource-saving handling equipment on the apron at Munich Airport.

EFM, the company responsible for de-icing and aircraft towing services at the facility, has developed an electric aircraft tow tractor. Fitted with the latest 700V lithium-ion battery, the tug can pull passenger aircraft up to the weight of 352 tons.

Munich Airport
Photo Munich Airport 

Memmingen-based manufacturer, Goldhofer named the innovation the ‘Phoenix E’, after a mythical bird. It can reach speeds of up to 32kph (20mph) whilst working with consistently high tractive power.

The vehicle only needs to be charged for short and intermittent periods, therefore allowing operations to continue round the clock. The ‘Phoenix E’ can also run on diesel if the loading capacity is ever insufficient, which will only be used under vital circumstances.

By implementing an all-electric tug vehicle, EFM is making a conscious contribution to Munich Airport’s environmental goals which are to become completely CO2 neutral by 2030 at the latest.

A variety of innovations have been introduced at the airport to try and reach the climate target, including an array of electrical vehicles and the rollout of charging infrastructure.