Australia’s first all-electric aviation refueller in operation

The Australian Government has welcomed the entry into service of a new all-electric refueller at Brisbane Airport.

The next-generation electric refueller, a SEA Electric SEA 500 EV, was commissioned by Air bp and will hold 16,000 litres of Jet-A1 – a key aviation fuel.

Using Lithium-Ion batteries and digital charging mechanisms, this is the first all-electric aviation refueller in Australia.

Designed to operate for a full day with overnight charging, Air bp also anticipates the electric refueller will reduce bp’s operation and maintenance costs when compared with similar diesel-fuelled refuellers.

Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Catherine King attended the official event to mark its start of operations

“The Australian Government is committed to working with industry to cut emissions right across our aviation operations, and this is a fantastic example of how technology can help achieve this,” said King.

“We are already establishing a unit within my department to work across government and with industry to drive down domestic transport sector emissions and the upcoming aviation white paper will consider how to transition the sector into a net-zero world.

“The government congratulates Air bp on its successful commissioning of this new electric refueller, and looks forward to working with industry partners to further abate carbon emissions in Australian aviation.”

All onboard pumps and functions are also fully electrified on the refueller.

This system has previously been adapted to electrify a wide range of ancillary functions, such as the hydraulic systems found on refuse vehicles, elevated work platforms, tippers and tilt trays, or the cooling units found in refrigerated delivery trucks.

This latest adaptation sees the bulk of the energy for the truck devoted to the fuel delivery task, rather than propulsion for the vehicle.

“SEA Electric is proud to be partnering with Air bp on this world-leading project, which sets the standard for environmental credentials and performance, all while showcasing the possibilities of EV technology,” said Tony Fairweather, SEA Electric’s CEO and founder.

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