FBO Atlantic Aviation Takes Delivery Of Electric Refuelers
A U.S. manufacturer of purpose-built electric vehicles has delivered its first aircraft refueler trucks to the general aviation industry.
Envirotech Vehicles (EVTV) announced the milestone delivery of two 900-gal. avgas refuelers to FBO Atlantic Aviation on Feb. 1, through a partnership with aviation refueling equipment manufacturer Garsite, of Kansas City. EVTV supplies the electric vehicle chassis; Garsite installs the fueling module, which uses a Total Control Systems 3000 Electronic Register to measure fuel flow.
One of the 100LL avgas refueling vehicles sporting the Atlantic Aviation logo made its public debut at the NBAA Schedulers and Dispatchers Conference in Nashville a week earlier. The refuelers are destined for Colorado, although Atlantic Aviation said it has not finalized basing plans for the vehicles.
“There’s a special irony in that even owners and operators of fuel-delivery systems themselves are looking to electrify their vehicles,” said EVTV CEO Phillip Oldridge, announcing the milestone. “We are proud to deliver the first all-electric aircraft refueler to Atlantic Aviation and appreciate their industry leadership. We have received significant interest for electric refuelers and plan to continue fulfilling the aviation industry’s demand for more sustainable ground support equipment through our partnership with Garsite.”
Speaking with BCA, Oldridge said EVTV has orders for another 15 avgas refuelers and that Garsite currently is outfitting five or six with fuel modules. The companies also plan to build a 5,000-gal. refueler for Jet-A.
Other companies have manufactured electric jet refuelers. Air bp, SEA Electric and Refuel International introduced a 4,226-gal. Jet-A1 refueler at Brisbane Airport in Australia in August 2022. Titan Aviation of France has developed a 5,283-gal. Jet-A1 refueler.
Expansion In Arkansas
EVTV builds a wide range of electric vehicles for commercial and public-sector markets, including Class 3-6 medium duty trucks up to 19,500 lb., commercial vans, an 84-passenger school bus and specialty vehicles such as a planned lavatory servicing vehicle for aviation.
The publicly traded company, formerly known as Adomani, is in the process of relocating its headquarters from Porterville, California, to Osceola, Arkansas, where it is refurbishing a 580,000 ft.2 former Fruit of the Loom factory for electric vehicle final assembly and pre-delivery inspection. It expects to begin full production in 12-18 months.
EVTV builds its own chassis; it acquires axle assemblies from Dana/Eaton, Isuzu truck cabs, Parker Hannifin display panels, Knorr-Bremse or Rockwell braking systems, Grote Industries lighting and Michelin tires. The company uses Prestolite drive motors for larger vehicles and supplies its own power distribution unit, battery management system and wiring harnesses, Oldridge said.
Power is sourced from two lithium iron phosphate battery packs supplied by ProGreens New Energy Technology Co. Ltd., of Taiwan, with 118kW capacity. In September 2021, EVTV announced its intent to purchase ProGreens. Plans call for the latter company to use nearly 100,000 ft.2 of the Osceola facility to build batteries.
The avgas refueler can be recharged via a standard 220V outlet or EV charge point and has 150-mile range supported by regenerative braking, Oldridge said.
Asked to quantify the addressable market for electric-powered aviation ground vehicles, he said: “It’s the old story: if you build it, they will come. Do I believe that scissor-lift trucks for food delivery, pump trucks, deicing vehicles will soon be electric? Yes, I do. Aircraft logistics is a big business.”