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Air BP Launches Electric Aircraft Refueling Vehicle

Air BP, the specialized aviation division of BP, introduced a zero-emissions aircraft refueling vehicle at the Dubai Air Show 2007. 


Each of Air BP’s Environmentally Friendly Refueling Vehicles (EFRVs) is powered by a 96-volt DC motor coupled to the standard Isuzu manual transmission. The battery bank is charged from grid power in off peak times, taking between 2-4 hours.

On-board solar panels charge two 12 or 24 volt batteries, which in turn power the brake interlock system, lights, hydraulic power pack and a small air compressor. Any surplus power from these solar panels is directed to the main 96-volt battery bank.



Solar, butanol, now electric vehicles, BP is spending its petrodollars nicely. Now, about them refineries that keep malfunctioning.

tom deplume

I don't understand why pipes from the airport tanks to the terminal gates are not already used. No need for the trucks.


I think the refueling trucks are needed to pump the fuel from the storage tanks into the aircraft. There must be safety reasons for doing it that way. You wouldn't want the in-ground pipes leaking fuel all over the tarmac if they were under pressure.


I wonder why they haven't already been using the standard Isuzu / Toyota Dyna platform - available as diesel hybrid since 2001....

tom deplume

If the pumps were at the gate there would be no high pressure in the line.
Leaks from a hose coming from a gate pump would not be any more likely to leak than a hose from a truck. The truck runs the risk of colliding with aircraft, baggage carts, stationary objects, etc. Trucks are used only because an airport may have multiple fuel vendors. I can see no other reason for using trucks instead of pipes.


This is used in conjunction with the pipes, folks. Look at the picture! That's no tanker truck.

This truck is used to lift the operator up to the fueling port on the underside of the wing. It carries around the hoses, the fueling technicians, and the apparatus that lifts the operator and supports the hose during the refueling operation. The hoses are far too heavy to be allowed to hang from the wing to the ground, even if an operator was strong enough to maneuver them into place without mechanical assistance. I don't see any mention of a pumping system on the truck at all.

Cleaning up ground support equipment like this is one of the few opportunities to reduce the local air quality impacts of airports. The planes have to take off and land under their own power; that's dirty and isn't going to change anytime soon. So the efforts that can be made within the authority of a single airport or a local regulatory agency go after the equipment that remains at the airport- fueling trucks, baggage trollies, etc.

A few airports don't have the underground pipes, and as such do fuel aircraft from actual tanker trucks. Given the amount of fuel required, though, a tanker truck is not an efficient way to refuel a large commercial aircraft, so the pipe systems are widely used for practical reasons alone (despite widespread issues with underground fuel leaks contaminating soil and groundwater).

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