Electric airport shuttles made by Endera Motors. Photo courtesy of Endera.

Endera, a technology company specializing in commercial electric vehicles, announced Wednesday that it has delivered 18 electric passenger shuttles to ACE Parking for use at San Diego International Airport.

By the end of 2020, 29 electric vehicles will be delivered, making for the nation’s largest deployment of an all-electric fleet at a U.S. airport.

ACE Parking, manager of the airport’s shuttle fleet, purchased 29 all- electric shuttle buses to convert the existing liquified petroleum gas and natural gas fleet to all-electric to attempt to reach the sustainability goals of the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority.

Sixteen of the vehicles within the fleet will be large, high-occupancy shuttles based on the Ford F-550 platform, which are the first of their kind to be electrified.

“By combining our AI driven telematics and safety technology, San Diego International Airport will now have the most technologically advanced shuttle buses on the road at a U.S. airport. We are able to help them accomplish their sustainability goals and show a compelling reduction in energy and maintenance costs for these vehicles,” said John Walsh, CEO of Endera. “The vehicles and their technology will revolutionize the way fleets are managed at airports, hospitals, universities, and any other application where high occupancy vehicles are utilized.”

The vehicles were purchased in part to help the San Diego Airport comply with California’s zero-emission airport shuttle regulation, which was adopted in June 2019 by the California Air Resources Board. The new regulations require airport shuttle operators to transition to 100% zero-emission vehicle technologies by the end of 2035.

According to Endera, the all-electric buses are built with a lightweight composite body that maximizes range efficiency over traditional steel and aluminum designs. The electric shuttles can achieve up to 130 miles of range on a fully-packed 26 passenger bus and can charge in as little as two hours and 15 minutes.

Each vehicle will be equipped with an automated passenger counting system that uses cameras and AI algorithms to accurately count passengers and provide detailed reports to the management team. Part of the technology was designed to help combat the spread of COVID-19 by including an infrared camera that reads passengers’ temperatures as they board the bus, alerting the driver of an ill passenger.

Endera’s energy management system also will allow fleet operators to easily and efficiently monitor and manage their vehicles charging stations to minimize energy usage.

By the end of 2020, an additional 29 Endera electric vehicles will be in operation in San Diego County at an off-airport parking facility and a commercial office campus.

— City News Service

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