Green is the new black: ANA trials hydrogen fuel cell vehicle as limousine service

Airports are fast becoming sites where alternative fuel-powered vehicles are tested, as the trials can be carried out within an contained area or on standard routes, for example between the city and the airport. We have covered the use of environmental-friendly vehicles at airports before on airlinetrends.com (“Airport vehicles go green”), for example KLM has been testing the ‘AirPod’, a zero-emission vehicle that runs on compressed air, to transport people and light cargo at Schiphol Airport.

Another promising green technology are hydrogen fuel cells, which combined with oxygen in the air, produce electricity to power vehicles, with water as the only emission. If the electricity used in producing the hydrogen is generated by wind, water or solar energy, the result is a zero-emission energy source.

All Nippon Airways
At Tokyo Narita Airport, All Nippon Airways (ANA) has teamed up with Toyota to test the latest version of the Toyota Highlander ‘FCHV-adv’ (which stands for fuel cell hybrid vehicle-advanced). During February and March 2011, the vehicles will be used as part of ANA’s ‘Welcome-Home Limousine Taxi Service’ for premium passengers returning to Japan on flights from Europe or the U.S., as well as for the airline’s early morning pickup service. The Toyota’s operated by ANA will be used to collect data on the performance of the fuel-cell, such as fuel efficiency and consumption, both in the city-style as on the highway. Toyota plans to have a consumer-ready version of the FCHV-adv available on the U.S. market by the end of 2015.

Virgin Atlantic
The initiative by ANA and Toyota follows a similar trial by Virgin Atlantic and General Motors in 2008. As part of GM’s ‘Project Driveway’ zero-emission trial, Virgin Atlantic used three hydrogen fuel cell-powered Chevrolet Equinox SUVs to provide complimentary ground transportation for its ‘Upper Class’ passengers in Los Angeles and New York.

Green promotion
For ANA and Virgin Atlantic, the fuel cell powered courtesy cars also serve as a ‘moving advertisement’ for the airlines to show their environmental credentials to their premium customers as well as to the general public. ANA has also been operating a fuel cell bus at Nagoya’s Chubu International Airport since 2006, and is the first airline, and one of a select number of companies, in Japan to receive an ‘Eco-First’ certification from the government. In order to become certified, companies must make a commitment to introduce several sustainable initiatives.

Related articles:
Airport vehicles go green
Air France-KLM pilots emission-free AirPod at Schiphol and Charles de Gaulle
Airports reward employees for green commuting
Uber-green parking facility comes to Denver International Airport

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