Cologne Bonn Airport has acquired three new articulated buses with electric motors, each vehicle having space for around 100 passengers.

They are the first electric articulated buses that the Munich-based manufacturer MAN has delivered to a German airport. The vehicles will be used on the apron, transporting passengers between aircraft and terminals.

“Investments in our fully electric vehicle fleet are a key central pillar in our sustainability activities,” said Thilo Schmid, president and CEO of Flughafen Köln/Bonn. “Acquiring the electric articulated buses is another enormous step for us towards climate-friendly mobility. In other areas, we are also successively replacing older models for new models with electric motors.”

Power is supplied by two electric central motors on the vehicle’s second and third axles. These are easier to maintain than electric motors near the wheel hubs, MAN said. The buses will be charged at a new station at the airport’s depot and another, also newly built, charging station on the apron.

The batteries use lithium-ion technology. Eight battery packs with a total capacity of 640 kilowatt hours are placed on the bus roofs, where they are easily accessible for servicing.

The airport has leased the three electric articulated buses, which each cost around €700,000, for five years. It has also leased seven hybrid articulated buses from MAN. These have been in use at the airport for several weeks. According to MAN, the vehicles save around 30% fuel in comparison to conventional diesel buses. Their electric motors are charged while driving.

Over the course of the year, the airport will also acquire more vehicles with electric motors and replace older vehicles in this way. In April, new electric tow trucks for the airport’s baggage service will join its fleet.

Image: Cologne Bonn Airport