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Gaussin and Total developing 1st full electric aircraft refueler transporter; Saft batteries

Engineering company Gaussin and energy major Total are jointly developing the first full electric aircraft refueler transporter (ART FULL ELEC). Planned for the Airbus industrial site in Toulouse, this prototype will be capable of towing two fuel tankers, with a fuel capacity of 30 tons each. Delivery is expected at the end of 2020.


Electric Aircraft Refueler Transporter, equipped with two 30-ton fuel tanks (artist rendering – courtesy of Gaussin)

This partnership between Gaussin and Total will be drawing on the 40 years of know-how of Saft (a subsidiary of Total) in designing and producing batteries for electric & hybrid commercial and industrial vehicles. Saft will provide the lithium-ion batteries for this future fleet.

The batteries will be entirely developed and manufactured at Saft’s facilities in Nersac and Bordeaux in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of France.

This first firm order will enable Gaussin to expand its offering on the electric vehicles market and Total to provide a solution adapted to the refueling business. It also paves the way for the development of a fleet of innovative vehicles, specifically dedicated to aviation.

Total is one of the world’s biggest suppliers of aviation fuel, in France, in Europe and Africa. Total supplies 280 airlines in 300 airports around the world.

Gaussin designs, assembles and sells products and services in the transport and logistics field. Its know-how encompasses cargo and passenger transport, autonomous technologies allowing for self-driving solutions such as Automotive Guided Vehicles, and the integration of all types of batteries, particularly electric and hydrogen fuel cells.

With more than 50,000 vehicles worldwide, Gaussin enjoys a strong reputation in four fast-expanding markets: port terminals, airports, logistics and people mobility.

The group has formed strategic partnerships with major global players in order to accelerate its market penetration: Siemens Logistics in the airport field, Bolloré Ports and ST Engineering in ports, UPS in logistics and Bluebus for people mobility.



Perfectly sensible thing to do.
I wonder could they run power to planes once they come to a halt so they do not need to run their engines so much.

Jason Burr

At most sizable airports there is an umbilical that does this. Similar to boats at port. Once the plane (or boat) is docked, the umbilical is connected and the main and aux engines are shut down. Airlines are big on ways to save fuel.

Though I could see this as an alternative during adverse conditions, extended waits on the tarmac, or at smaller airports where you walk out onto the runway to board. In these cases this would replace the mobile diesel generator.


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