Lufthansa ground handling specialist LEOS has added the second Phoenix E all-electric aircraft tractor from German manufacturer Goldhofer to its fleet of tow tractors. The two purely battery-electric vehicles are in operation at Frankfurt Airport and can move aircraft with a take-off weight of up to 350 tonnes over short and long distances between parking areas, maintenance hangars and departure positions. An additional special feature of the second electric tug is that the powerhouse is painted in retro colours and its 80s-style yellow catches the eye from afar.
With a battery capacity of 165 kilowatt hours and a power output of 240 kilowatt, the electric tugs can move aircraft at up to 25 kilometres per hour with zero emissions and no noise. The two electric tractors are “workhorses”: they transport aircraft across the apron in Frankfurt for over ten hours a day on average. The daily energy requirement for the towing jobs is sometimes twice-as-high as the battery capacity. The lithium-ion battery system allows rapid recharging during short work interruptions, which is done by means of a dedicated charging infrastructure. The e-tow tractors naturally “fill up” with green electricity.
The Lufthansa Group has set itself ambitious climate protection goals and aims to achieve a neutral CO₂ balance by 2050. Already by 2030, the Lufthansa Group wants to halve its net CO₂ emissions compared to 2019 through reduction and compensation measures. The reduction roadmap until 2030 was validated by the independent Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) in August 2022. The Lufthansa Group was the first airline group in Europe with a science-based CO₂ reduction target in line with the goals of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.