Vilnius Airport tests prototype electric passenger bus
Vilnius Airport in Lithuania has started testing a new prototype electric bus, Dancer, to reduce the level of pollution emitted by airport passenger operations.
The 12m bus prototype was developed by a Lithuanian electric vehicle manufacturer, Elektrinio Transporto Sistemos, to carry around 90 passengers, with 32 seats and 56 standing places, two of which can be transformed into a single seat for a disabled passenger. The bus body is made of a composite material that contains recycled PET plastic. Due to its light weight, the electric bus needs less energy to drive, so its energy consumption is on average 0.72 kWh for every 1 km traveled. Funded by the European Union’s Regional Development Fund, the project was designed to test the bus in real operating conditions for passenger transport.
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Marius Skuodis, Lithuanian Minister of Transport and Communications, said: “The first steps are being taken at Vilnius airport, although the road is still long, and the means to encourage ground handling companies to modifying their polluting transport are still actively sought. There are already many initiatives in Europe: electric airport buses, electric taxis serving incoming and outgoing passengers, interest in the deployment of other alternative fuel vehicles. The Dancer bus at Vilnius airport is a great example. We are even happier that this passenger bus is the production of a Lithuanian company.
Arnas Dūmanas, Head of Lithuanian Airports Operations and Infrastructure Department, added: “We are really happy to contribute to the aspirations of the Lithuanian capital company, which we believe has the potential to become a global success. Lithuanian airports participate in the Net Zero initiative, which means that by using a wide range of solutions, we are looking for a way to reduce the carbon footprint of our activities and testing such a solution will be a step in the direction that we have chosen.
Linas Vaškys, CEO of Litcargus, said: “Such projects help to understand how the next generation of transport can work in real conditions, what benefits they can bring, as well as what still needs to be improved. After all, the results of this project will be used to improve other inventions, which is of great importance for the aviation industry.
Alvydas Naujėkas, CEO of Vėjo Projektai, said: “Aviation is always at the forefront of developing innovative transportation solutions. In producing the lightest electric bus on the market, Dancer, we also learned from the masters of composite fiber who worked in the Airbus aeronautical cluster in Germany. Therefore, cooperation to test the bus on the territory of the airport can bring positive results in the development of new technological solutions not only in the field of electric transport but also in aviation.