Quiet, clean, electric: fleet development at Budapest Airport

The first fully electrically powered vehicle in Budapest Airport’s fleet, a Smart Electric Drive, has entered service. More modern, cleaner cars are appearing at the airport one after the other, as Budapest Airport aims to continuously reduce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions. It will be possible to see the little electric Smart not only at the airport, but in Budapest as well.

The new Smart ED, or Electric Drive, has been bustling around on Budapest Airport’s internal road network for the past few days with a quiet murmur, following its commissioning. The little, fully electrically powered two-seater is the product of Budapest Airport’s efforts to continuously, gradually reduce its carbon dioxide emissions. According to current plans, there could be as many as 100 electric vehicles in operation at the airport by 2020, including not just passenger cars, but also special handling vehicles and heavy-duty machinery performing airport-specific tasks.


Based on the calculations of Budapest Airport’s environmental experts, the airport is an ideal environment for the operation of electric cars, as vehicles are required to move relatively short distances, which makes the operation of vehicles with internal combustion engines less efficient. Although electric vehicles do not emit any carbon dioxide, they are powered by electricity produced by power plants in Hungary. This means that an estimated 7.2 kg of CO2 is generated for every 100 kilometers of use, but this is still considerably less than the emissions of a modern diesel engine, of around 18.7 kg CO2 / 100 km.

“We are continuously collecting experiences of operating electric vehicles, to be able to determine the precise extent of the benefits in terms of maintenance, compared to traditional vehicles. The new Smart certainly became an overnight sensation at the airport, turning the heads of many passengers and staff as it moves along. We hope that within a few years, the sight of electric vehicles will be customary at Budapest Airport,” said Péter Huszka, chief operating officer for Budapest Airport.

Budapest Airport has launched a program in order to coordinate and encourage environmental developments amongst the nearly 200 partner companies operating at the airport, with the dissemination of electric mobility as one of its important elements. International experience shows that airports are well suited to the operation of electric vehicles, both in airside areas, during the ground handling of flights, as well as in public car parks, where charging stations and related services can be provided. More than 1000 vehicles are used for the handling of flights, the towing of hold baggage trolleys and by authority staff members, all within a circle with a radius of less than 10 km, in the airside areas, closed to public traffic. As a result of the program, partner companies operating at the airport have started indicating the need for charging stations for their newly purchased electric vehicles, and are testing the various special solutions offered by manufacturers.

Photos of Budapest Airport’s new Smart ED are available here: https://goo.gl/sPRxLX

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