Kansas City Airport doubling Electric Fleet with new BYD Vehicles

Oct. 11, 2022
The electric bus fleet at the airport will double with the addition of these new buses. There are seven battery-electric vehicles already in operation, serving the Economy Parking at KCI

The Kansas City Council is buying seven new BYD battery-electric vehicles for the Kansas City International Airport.

The electric bus fleet at the airport will double with the addition of these new buses. There are seven battery-electric vehicles already in operation, serving the Economy Parking at KCI.

“The Kansas City Aviation Department has long been at the forefront in implementing the latest in environmentally friendly programs and vehicles,” said Kansas City Director of Aviation Pat Klein. “In 1997, we deployed a fleet of the first compressed natural gas mass transit vehicles in regular use in Kansas City. We are one-upping that milestone by purchasing electric buses to lessen fleet emissions, with a goal of a 100 percent electric bus fleet in coming years.”

California-based BYD Motors supplies low and no-carbon buses, trucks and forklifts for a variety of industries. It has contracted to deliver electric buses for Tampa International Airport and in the Glasgow, Scotland airport, as well.

More than $4.8 million will be spent to buy the electric buses but the Aviation Department is also seeking to execute a contract with local environmental non-profit Metropolitan Energy Center (MEC) to approve $732,800 grant funds from the U.S. Department of Energy to support its purchase of four of the seven vehicles. The remaining $3,020,382 will be provided from airport revenues.

“MEC has gladly assisted the airport with its clean bus initiatives since 1996, upon the formation of Kansas City Regional Clean Cities Coalition,” Executive Director of Metropolitan Energy Center Kelly Gilbert. “Today we are excited to help usher in a new era for emission-free client transportation around the new airport terminal. The airport joins seven other area organizations electrifying their fleets during the first phase of a new project that will reduce emissions in, and increase funding to, under-resourced areas of Missouri and Kansas.”

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Aviation directed Momentum Dynamics (now InductEV) to install a wireless charging system in the New Terminal for its electric buses. The inductive system will provide incremental charging to the electric shuttle buses at stops, thus keeping them in service longer along the seven-mile loop.

The electrification of its fleet will enable the Aviation Department to save costs by reducing fuel consumption and maintenance costs by tens of thousands of dollars, according to the announcement.

The 10,000-acre KCI serves more than seven million passengers per year, according to statistics. Those are pandemic-era stats, however, and previous passenger totals topped 11 million some years.

About the Author

EnergyTech Staff

Rod Walton is senior editor for EnergyTech.com. He has spent 14 years covering the energy industry as a newspaper and trade journalist.

Walton formerly was energy writer and business editor at the Tulsa World. Later, he spent six years covering the electricity power sector for Pennwell and Clarion Events. He joined Endeavor and EnergyTech in November 2021.

He can be reached at [email protected]

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