Frankfurt Airport starts testing of new Mitsubishi electric cars as it drives into an 'electromobile' future
The two Mitsubishi i-MiEV electric cars at Frankfurt Airport (photo: Fraport)
Thu 20 Aug 2009 – Fraport, the operator of Frankfurt Airport, has taken delivery of two Mitsubishi i-MiEV cars, the first electric vehicle likely to be mass produced in Europe and the first of their type to undergo major road testing in Germany. Fraport plans to increase the share of electric vehicles in its fleet to more than 20 percent by 2015 and to 60 percent by 2020. At the same time, a network of easily-accessible quick-charging stations for electric cars will be developed around the airport. Fraport alone operates a fleet of about 3,000 motorized vehicles.
Dr Stefan Schulte, Fraport’s Executive Board Vice-Chairman, said an “electromobile future” was an important addition to the airport’s strategy of improving the energy optimization of its passenger terminals and other airport buildings. “Electrically-powered vehicles with a cruising range of up to 160km are predestined for use at the airport, where mainly short distances are driven,” he said.
“This propulsion technology is also very interesting for our specialized airport vehicles such as aircraft tow trucks. But such an application is still in the early development stage and an option for the future.”
Sales of the i-MiEV (Mitsubishi Innovative Electric Vehicle) started in Japan last month. A left-hand drive version is currently being developed for the continental European market and is expected to be available by the end of 2010.
Mitsubishi says that by 2020, the share of electric vehicles in its total production is expected to reach 20% and thus reduce the overall CO2 emissions of its output by 50% below the 2005 level. “The development of modern and efficient electric vehicles for large-scale production is one of the most significant specialist areas for us in the future,” said Martin van Vugt, Director of Mitsubishi Motors Deutschland.