St. Louis Airport to Launch Electric Buses

St. Louis Lambert International Airport (STL) has purchased five Lightning ZEV4™ electric shuttle buses from Lightning eMotors, a frontrunner in the supply of zero-emission, mid-sized commercial vehicles. These buses will facilitate inter-terminal transportation for passengers at STL. SP Plus Parking, a partner of STL, will operate these new electric vehicles. The package also comprises five Level 2 chargers and a Level 3 DC fast charger, scheduled for delivery within the year.

Why It Matters

The move to integrate electric buses into airport operations marks a significant stride in environmental conservation. Kash Sethi, Lightning eMotors’ Chief Revenue Officer, highlighted the importance of federal funding in advancing electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure at airports. He mentioned, “This order is a testament to the suitability of our vehicles and charging technology in assisting airports to attain their commercial and ecological objectives.”

Key Points

  • STL’s acquisition was partially funded by the 2023 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Voluntary Airport Low Emissions Program (VALE) grant, emphasizing the focus on reducing airport emissions.
  • Lightning eMotors ensures that their ZEV4 product line complies with FAA Buy American and FTA Buy America certifications, thus qualifying for a share in the over $5 billion FAA/FTA funds.
  • Lightning eMotors has a growing presence in airport EV solutions. A noteworthy mention is ACE Parking’s fleet at San Diego International Airport, which has accumulated over a million miles since 2020.
  • The newly acquired shuttle buses for STL are built on Lightning’s GM4500-based platform. These shuttles can cover 100 miles per shift, with continuous operation facilitated by the Lightning-supplied DC fast charger.

Bottom Line

St. Louis Lambert International Airport’s adoption of electric shuttle buses underscores their dedication to eco-friendly practices. With the support of industry leaders like Lightning eMotors, airports can transition from merely advocating green policies to actual implementation, setting a benchmark for sustainable transportation in the aviation sector. As Sethi optimistically notes, this collaboration heralds more joint ventures with airports nationwide, pushing the envelope for green transportation solutions.


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