Air bp to use all-electric refuellers at Brisbane Airport


Air bp has introduced a new all-electric refueller for customers lifting jet fuel at Brisbane Airport, Australia.

The refueller uses lithium-ion batteries and digital charging, making it the first all-electric hazardous goods vehicle and refueller approved for use in Australia. Manufactured over two years with SEA Electric and Refuel International, it can last for a full day with overnight charging and can carry around 16,000 litres of fuel.

Geoff Pinner, general manager for Refuel International said: “This refueller delivers to the aircraft with zero fuel consumed and zero tail pipe emissions whilst meeting the requisite levels of safety and regulatory compliance.”

Over time, the refueller will be introduced on Air bp’s other sites.

Electric refuellers like this could help eliminate the risk of contaminated jet fuel, which has recently been a problem due to diesel exhaust fuel (DEF) mistakenly being added to jet fuel. DEF is intended to be used by cars and trucks to reduce their carbon emissions, but when accidentally mixed into jet fuel it can crystallise and plug fuel filters and engines.

The accidental addition of DEF caused a double engine failure in a Cessna Citation II business jet at 8,500ft in 2020, as reported in Corporate Jet Investor Quarterly. During refuelling by FBO staff, DEF was wrongly added to the fuel tanks, but the jet landed safely thanks to the actions of the two pilots on board.  The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (APOPA) are calling for the removal of DEF from airports.