Goldhofer was shortlisted for the German Sustainability Award 2021 All-electric »PHOENIX« E aircraft tow tractor: a further step towards sustainable ground handling

Goldhofer »PHOENIX« E – The contender for the German Sustainability Award bringing sustainability to the challenging environment of the airport apron. (Photos: Goldhofer)

Potential for energy savings on the airport apron

The German Sustainability Award is a national award for excellence in sustainability in business, local government and research. The biggest award of its kind in Europe, it is made by the Stiftung Deutscher Nachhaltigkeitspreis e.V. (German Sustainability Award Foundation) in collaboration with the German Federal Government and leading municipal and business associations. This year, the jury has shortlisted Goldhofer’s electrically powered »PHOENIX« E towbarless aircraft tractor for the finals.

With its 700 V lithium-ion battery technology, the zero-emission powerhouse makes light work of moving cargo and passenger aircraft with a take-off weight of up to 352 tons – including wide-body aircraft. At Munich Airport, where the goal is carbon-neutral operation by 2030, the »PHOENIX« E has now completed an intensive test phase, proving that electric ground handling is feasible without any loss of performance. “We were delighted to be among the finalists and proud of such recognition of our work on sustainable airport apron vehicles,” says Lothar Holder, CEO at Goldhofer Aktiengesellschaft and Head of Airport Technology.

As the flagship among Goldhofer’s towbarless aircraft tractors, the zero-emission »PHOENIX« E offers the same range of performance in terms of tractive power, maneuverability and reliability as the diesel version, plus additional advantages such as lower operating costs and longer maintenance cycles. The power is delivered by a high-performance electric drive combined with extremely efficient 700 V lithium-ion battery technology, which has already proved highly successful with electric commercial vehicles and meets the highest standards of safety. In addition, the TMS system (Thermo Management System) that is part of the »IonMaster« concept is the key to long battery life. It also provides very short charging times, and supports fast and opportunity charging at all standard AC and DC charging points with up to 150 kW. The 220 kW direct drive guarantees reliable, high-performance aircraft handling with towing speeds of up to 32 km/h.

To sum up, the »PHOENIX« E has enormous potential for real energy savings compared to conventional tow tractors, outstanding total vehicle efficiency and availability, the highest level of performance and zero-emission operation.

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