New zero-emission vehicles will replace diesel-powered parking shuttles
The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority announced on Thursday the purchase of five fully electric-powered buses from Proterra Operating Company Inc. for use in its fleet of parking shuttles at Washington Dulles International Airport. This purchase, which is being funded by a grant from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, is a major step toward the Airports Authority’s goal of a more sustainable fleet of low- or zero-emission ground transportation vehicles.
“Sustainability is a top priority for the Airports Authority, and this purchase is an important component of our overarching sustainability plan,” said Christopher Paolino, vice president for Strategy and Operational Performance at the Airports Authority. “It marks a major milestone in our green-vehicle effort, a transition we’ve already begun with our smaller vehicles.”
The purchase includes ZX5+ buses, as well as three Proterra 150-kilowatt charging stations. Each Proterra ZX5+ transit bus features:
- A 450 kilowatt-hour battery that will deliver between 154 and 216 miles of service per charge, enabling drivers to complete their full shift on a single charge.
- Three 150-kW high-capacity chargers, capable of recharging of each bus in under four hours.
- The Airports Authority’s 29-seat layout configuration, which is customized for airport service, with a spacious luggage rack for passenger convenience.
- Designated seats designed to fold upright to enable use of two wheelchair positions featuring four-point restraints, in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The buses are scheduled for delivery and initial use in early 2023. When brought into service, they will replace five older diesel buses currently used throughout Dulles International Airport. This initiative is one of several to replace vehicles in the Airports Authority’s fleet with greener alternatives, including the transition of airport operations and police vehicles to hybrid models.
The Airports Authority adopted a new sustainability initiative in October 2020, in conjunction with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Six overarching goals drive the strategy behind this enhanced commitment to sustainability, including reducing fossil fuel use through the electrification of the on-airport transport fleet. In addition to the purchase of electric buses, the transition to a fleet of vehicles that run on alternative energy sources and an increase in the number of electric vehicle charging stations at airport parking facilities, the Airports Authority has launched a Green Concessions program, focused on increased sustainability and green energy practices within airport shops and restaurants. More information on the Airports Authority’s sustainability initiatives can be found here.