Aero Mag unveils hybrid de-icing truck

by Abdul Latheef

MONTREAL, Que. – The world’s first hybrid de-icing truck has been deployed at Montreal-Trudeau International Airport.

The Elephant Beta electric-diesel truck was unveiled Thursday by Aero Mag, which specializes in integrated aircraft de-icing operations.

The truck uses diesel power to reach the de-icing area before switching to electric power for operation around an airplane.

Aero Mag de-icer
The new hybrid truck at work at Montreal-Trudeau International Airport on Thursday. (Photo: Aero Mag)

The truck was designed and manufactured by the Danish company Vestergaard in collaboration with Aero Mag.

The two companies did not reveal how many airplanes can be de-iced in one charge, but media reports in Europe said the truck could service up to 20 aircraft without recharging.

“There is no better place to unveil this first electrically powered truck than at the aircraft de-icing facility operated by Aero Mag at Montreal-Trudeau International Airport,” said Stefan Vestergaard, managing director and CEO of Vestergaard.

“The truck will certainly be put to the test by the changing, and sometimes extreme, weather conditions in the region.”

Going carbon neutral

Aero Mag said the truck will help reduce the company’s environmental footprint by considerably cutting the diesel fuel consumption required for its operation.

It said the truck will produce 87% less greenhouse gases, resulting in the reduction of 35 tons of CO2 per truck each year.

De-icing trucks
Aero Mag operates close to 300 de-icing units at 17 airports. (Photo: Aero Mag)

Aero Mag said this will help contribute to its strategic objective of becoming a carbon-neutral company by the year 2035.

“Today is a great day for us,” said Mario Lepine, president of Aero Mag.

“The commissioning of this first electrically powered de-icing truck is perfectly in line with our continuous improvement program and follows a whole series of innovations that we have introduced in recent years in the aircraft de-icing industry.”

Lepine said Aero Mag had been collaborating with Vestergaard since 1994 to continuously improve aircraft de-icing technologies and processes.

“While ensuring safety and operational efficiency, this new electric de-icing truck once again confirms the innovative spirit and environmental values of our company,” he added.

Aero Mag employs some 1,500 people, and operates close to 300 de-icing units at 17 airports. To date, it has de-iced more than 500,000 aircraft, the company said.

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