Plug Power, known for selling fuel cell materials handling units, is now placing their FCVs at airports. The fuel cell vehicles (pictured above) will be a part of a demo project for ground support equipment (GSE) vehicles used to carry luggage and cargo.
According to Plug Power, “This demo is a significant step in Plug Power’s strategy to expand into markets adjacent to material handling, where the company’s GenDrive fuel cells have overwhelmingly proved their value. Airport tuggers, belt loaders and auxiliary power units are all GSE.
“A $2.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy has provided the funding for this development project. Use of hydrogen fuel cells will enable GSE operators to comply with tightening emissions standards that currently require capital increases and operational interruption in fleets powered by diesel.
“This week, the Plug Power GSE fuel cell prototype was publicly demonstrated for the first time, in a Charlatte cargo tractor pulling 40,000 pounds of weight, spread evenly over four dollies.”
For the past 3 years, fuel cell vehicles have quickly made their way into warehouses all over the United States and Europe. In February 2014, Walmart placed an order for 1,738 Plug Power FCVs for their distribution warehouses in Canada and the United States. In May of this year, Central Grocers placed an order with Plug Power for 182 next-generation GenDrive fuel cell units in their Joliet, Illinois facility. Airports are the next logical step for similar types of fuel cell vehicles.