LA Airport Parking Service Converts to All-Electric Shuttle Buses

Sixteen zero-emission utility shuttle buses will be used to service offsite parking at Los Angeles International Airport for shuttling service WallyPark, making it the first all-electric airport parking depot in the country.

Phoenix Motorcars, based in Ontario, Calif., manufactured the fully-electric buses for WallyPark, a subsidiary of parking facility operator L&R, which is headquartered in Los Angeles. Each vehicle carries up to 14 passengers and their luggage between the airport’s terminals and the WallyPark parking structure, about a 4-mile roundtrip.

“We are committed to this technology,” said Ed Pomponio, head of operations for L&R.

More companies are looking for ways to use zero-emission vehicles for commercial purposes.

Earlier this month Mercedes-Benz and courier service Hermes announced a partnership to electrify the logistic provider’s fleet by adding 1,500 battery-electric vans for last-mile delivery.

Hermes will incorporate the emission-free Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and Vito vans with electric drive into its daily operations in early 2018 as part of a pilot program in Hamburg and Stuttgart, Germany.

Elsewhere, Ford Motor Co. will begin testing a fleet of 20 plug-in hybrid vans in partnership with commercial fleets serving London as part of the British capital’s efforts to lower vehicle emissions in its crowded center. The project will team Ford with Transport for London, the city transit agency, and a variety of private fleets, which will use prototypes of Ford’s recently announced plug-in hybrid Transit Custom vans.

Each Phoenix electric bus used at the Los Angeles airport is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 60 tons of carbon dioxide per year. The buses also have fast-charging capability, which allows them to become fully charged in less than three hours.

“In addition to providing a great driving experience, we look to provide our clients sizable savings in fueling and maintenance costs,” said Tarek Helou, director of sales for Phoenix. “L&R’s vision will change the market landscape and make a positive impact on the airport, hotel and parking industry.”

Phoenix Motorcars is focused on electrifying commercial and government fleets.

“Fleets are the ideal customers for EVs, due to their vehicle usage patterns, centralized operation and high fuel consumption,” the company said in a statement. “In addition to the environmentally friendly aspects of EVs, they offer significant cost benefits over the total life of the vehicle.”

Besides LAX, L&R provides parking facilities at other major metropolitan areas, including Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Houston and Newark, N.J., among others. WallyPark features services such as valet, self-parking and shuttle service.

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