Electric Smart Car arrives at Manchester Airport to assist in reaching carbon neutral target
Wed 13 May 2009 – The UK’s Manchester Airport has introduced a low-emission Smart Car to its fleet as part of a drive to make its ground operations carbon neutral by 2015, the first of several initiatives the airport says it is taking to reach its target. The electric-powered car emits zero emissions if powered from renewable sources, saving around 7.2 tonnes of CO2 over the four-year or 40,000-mile lease of the vehicle. At present, the Manchester Airport Group sources 30 percent of its electricity from renewable sources, with ambitions to source 100 percent by 2010.
The airport operator says a significant amount of carbon comes from passenger and staff transport made to and from the airport and so is looking to lead the way by moving its own fleet to zero carbon.
“It might look like small steps at first but the range and scope of environmental projects we are unveiling across our airports will mean we are able to make significant savings on carbon dioxide,” said Penny Coates, executive board member responsible for the environment at the Manchester Airports Group (MAG) and Managing Director of East Midlands Airport, owned by MAG. An electric Smart Car has also been leased for the group’s East Midlands, Humberside and Bournemouth airports.
“What the Smart Cars provides us with is a very visible example to our passengers and staff of how our operation needs to take advantage of innovation and new thinking to deal with the carbon issue at our airports,” she added.
The car has an automatic gearbox, a top speed of 60mph (100kph) and a range of up to 70 miles. Airport staff will be able to use it to access the airport site and it will be the first of many vehicles, says MAG, to emit low or no carbon at the airport.
The Smart Car has been allocated to Manchester as part of a UK Government-funded industry partnership in which £100 million ($150m) has been pledged to kick-start a revolution in low emission and electric vehicles, with charging points expected to be provided on the streets of the UK. In the trial, 100 vehicles have been made available for qualifying corporate entities that purchase green electricity to power vehicles.