California’s John Wayne Airport is embarking on a multi-year programme to replace compressed natural gas (CNG) powered vehicles with electric zero emission vehicles.

The vehicles will be funded in part by the Airport Zero Emissions Vehicle and Infrastructure Pilot Programme (ZEV) administered by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The $2.1 million grant to provide 80% funding for the purchase of three zero emissions shuttle buses, in addition to charging equipment and infrastructure modifications.

Orange County Board of Supervisors chairwoman, Lisa Bartlett, confirmed that by “switching to electrically-powered shuttle buses the airport will reduce emissions and improve air quality.”

The first phase of the project is expected to cost around $2.6 million, and will see the airport purchase three 35-foot electric shuttle buses, and install electric charging stations and supporting electrical infrastructure. The plan is to then replace approximately three CNG-powered vehicles per year through the remaining phases of the project.

“John Wayne Airport is an industry leader in environmental policy best practices,” stated Michelle Steel, Orange County Board of Supervisors, vice chair. “The implementation of an entirely electric fleet of shuttle vehicles is one more example of our commitment to sustainable technologies.”

The new electric shuttle vehicles, which will provide transportation between the airport terminal and public and employee car parks, is forecast to be operational in early 2021.

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