Munich Airport (MUC) in Germany has started using the all-electric de-icing vehicle named Elephant e-BETA.

The vehicle has been incorporated by the EFM de-icing and aircraft towing firm at the airport.

Danish manufacturer Vestergaard has developed the new electrically operated de-icing unit, which features spray arms and nozzles run by electric motors, enabling it to de-ice the aircraft effectively and noiselessly.

Equipped with an OEM lithium-ion battery, the vehicle can de-ice around ten to 15 aircraft in about two to three hours of operation without a recharge.

Furthermore, the vehicle can be used flexibly with a conventional diesel engine.

However, the engine is turned off after the commencement of the process at the de-icing area.

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The airport stated that the de-icing unit is currently being tested for sensitive aeroplanes.

In addition, Elephant e-BETA can also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) compared to other conventional de-icing vehicles as it can avoid around 87% of CO₂ emissions.

Last month, aviation services specialist Menzies Aviation commenced the trial of Vestergaard Elephant e-BETA at Oslo Airport (OSL) in Norway.

The company claimed that this was the first time for such a trial in the EU and the second internationally on ground-handling sustainability.

If the trial is successful, around 97% of Menzies’ Oslo-based ground support equipment will be electrified.

Menzies Aviation operates 11 Vestergaard rigs as part of its de-icing fleet at the airport.