French oil and gas major Total will partner with engineering company Gaussin to jointly develop the world’s first fully electric Aircraft Refueller Transporter which will be capable of towing two fuel tankers with a fuel capacity of 30 tonnes each.
Capable of doing exactly what its name suggests – transporting aircraft refuelling tanks – the new electric vehicle, set to be delivered by the end of the year, will be the world’s first electric Aircraft Refueller Transporter (ART).
The new partnership between Gaussin and Total will draw upon the expertise of Total subsidiary company Saft, which has been designing and producing batteries since 1918, and which has been designing and producing batteries for electric & hybrid commercial and industrial vehicles for 40 years.
Saft will provide the lithium-ion batteries for the new electric ART and all subsequent models, to be developed and manufactured at Saft’s facilities in Nersac and Bordeaux in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of France.
From Gaussin’s point of view, this new electric vehicle will allow it to expand its EV offerings, while Total will be able to provide a solution adapted to the refuelling business. The two companies also hope that this new vehicle will “[pave] the way for the development of a fleet of innovative vehicles, specifically dedicated to aviation.”
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Joshua S. Hill is a Melbourne-based journalist who has been writing about climate change, clean technology, and electric vehicles for over 15 years. He has been reporting on electric vehicles and clean technologies for Renew Economy and The Driven since 2012. His preferred mode of transport is his feet.