There are many benefits to upgrading to an all-electric, or at least hybrid, ground support equipment fleet. The financial benefits alone are a great reason to do just that.
In this article, we’re going to cover some of the other main benefits to consider when determining whether or not it’s time to make the switch. These benefits fall into five categories: Environment & emissions, fuel-efficient operation, torque & towing, ease of use, and noise reduction.
Environment & Emissions
The environmental benefits of electric GSE are probably the most obvious. Unlike gas and diesel-powered equipment, electric equipment doesn’t burn fuel and is therefore emission-free.
However, producing zero emissions does more than simply help the environment; it also helps your employees. Employees who work with gas and diesel-powered GSE every day are exposed to and breathe in pollutants released by the equipment. Electric GSE provides a healthier working environment.
And since electric GSE doesn’t produce toxic gasses, these pieces of machinery can safely be used inside warehouses and hangars. This can cut back on the amount of GSE needed as the same equipment can be used both indoors and out.
While obviously connected to the financial incentives for switching to an electric fleet, the fuel efficiency of electric equipment is worth mentioning separately. And as battery technology advances, these pieces of equipment will only become more efficient.
Electric GSE is more fuel-efficient when operating under conditions that include frequent starts and stops, frequent idling, and short-range usage. Basically, electric equipment is more efficient in every situation GSE is used in at an airport.
Some auxiliary equipment, such as hydraulic lifts, refrigeration machinery, and pumps for various uses are also more fuel-efficient when powered by electric motors.
Airports are noisy places. Planes are loud, and so is the GSE used to service those planes. But GSE doesn’t have to be noisy. Electric GSE is much quieter than your standard gas or diesel-powered GSE. Compared to internal combustion engines, electric motors sound like a whisper.
There are a few benefits to reducing noise out on the tarmac and within warehouses. For one, it’s better for local wildlife. But, it’s also better for your employees as well.
Loud noise makes it difficult for workers to effectively communicate. By reducing this noise, workplace efficiency is improved and the risk of injury is reduced. That’s a win-win.
And speaking of injury, one of the more common workplace injuries airport workers can sustain is hearing damage. Reducing the number of loud equipment workers interact with on a daily basis can help to lessen the risk of hearing damage, as well.
Torque & Towing
Because electric GSE is quiet, it’s easy to think that means it’s not as “powerful” as its louder counterparts. And, while the horsepower of electric GSE may be lower than the horsepower of gas and diesel-powered GSE, what really matters for a lot of GSE is torque.
Horsepower is a measure of how quickly work can be done, while torque is a measure of the ability to perform work. The more torque, the heavier the load that can be towed. And the big benefit of electric GSE is that they can reach 100% of their torque output immediately.
This immediate application of torque allows electric GSE to tow planes, baggage, and everything else more effectively.
Ease of Use
Electric GSE is often easier and requires less training to use. This is in part because it’s less complex. But it also has to do with the capabilities of the equipment and exactly how it’s operated.
Electric aircraft tugs are a perfect example of the ease of use of electric GSE. They can perform “inching,” or slowly moving towards a connection point (the wheels of an aircraft) much easier than non-electric tugs can. This allows operators to be more accurate and therefore connect to the aircraft they’re towing quicker.
There are also many remote-controlled electric tugs available, such as those manufactured by TowFLEXX. Remote-controlled tugs increase the ease and speed of towing aircraft even more because the operator can move around independently of the tug to serve as their own spotter.
Learn more about how TowFLEXX’s remote-controlled electric GSE can revolutionize how you store aircraft.
Upgrade Your Fleet
There are many reasons to upgrade to an electric GSE fleet beyond simply as a way to save money in the long-run – though, that is an excellent reason on its own!
Because electric GSE doesn’t emit toxic fumes, it can be used indoors without posing a health risk to your employees. It’s also more fuel-efficient for many actions GSE performs, such as frequent starts and stops and idling.
Compared to gas and diesel-powered equipment, electric GSE is quieter and yet still better at towing. Less noise doesn’t mean weaker equipment. The reduced noise allows workers to communicate more effectively and the instant torque allows heavy loads to be pulled more efficiently.
And, lastly, electric GSE is often simply easier to use. The lack of an internal combustion engine means electric GSE can be smaller, which has led to some pieces of equipment becoming remote-controlled.
Are you ready to make the switch to electric ground support equipment? We can help you set up a plan to phase out your old equipment over time, making the transition more manageable. And our technicians can maintain and repair both your old GSE and new electric GSE. Contact FlyTek GSE today for more information on new equipment and our preventative maintenance plans.