Webasto will join forces with airport ground support equipment manufacturer Goldhofer in order to become emission-free in the next few years. Goldhofer is a primary manufacturer of vehicles for heavy-duty and special transport purposes with headquarters in Bavaria, Germany.
Webasto, which is also Bavarian, will supply batteries for the above-mentioned vehicles, as well as the required electronics know-how and technical support.
The advantages of an electrically-powered cargo tractor over one with an internal combustion engine range from reduced CO2 emissions, lower noise emissions, up to less local particulate pollution, a more pleasant driving experience (as there is no longer a need to shift gears), a significantly more positive torque curve and equivalent performance. Moreover, electric tractors are less maintenance-intensive.
Webasto and Goldhofer: the details of a collaboration
Depending on the version, the SHERPA E – this is the name of the tractor – uses either one or two 35 kWh batteries from Webasto. When selecting the battery Goldhofer took various key aspects into consideration. One of the most important was that the battery systems are of modular design, which allows them to be used across various different vehicles.
«We have diverse vehicle ranges of different sizes and requirement levels. We identified Webasto as an all-rounder for the SHERPA and BISON product segment, which offers us as a company the option of modular construction», explained Rüdiger Dube, Head of Product Management Airport Technology at Goldhofer. Before being approved, the batteries have been subjected to electromagnetic compatibility testing and therefore do not interfere with radio or electronic components. In terms of battery technology, lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide batteries were selected because they offer the highest energy density.
Ever-increasing demands on electric ground support vehicles
«We are very pleased to have gained a strong and experienced partner in Goldhofer, with whom we can drive forward electrification in the field of ground support equipment, thereby making our contribution to achieving emission-free airports around the world. In order to be able to meet the ever-increasing demands on electric ground support vehicles we will continue to offer, and constantly expand, a comprehensive portfolio of solutions for electric vehicles. As a driver of electromobility, Goldhofer plays a key role in stimulating us to develop future products for electric vehicles in the airport sector that meet market requirements as closely as possible», commented Manuel Kagelmann, Head of Product Portfolio Domain Batteries at Webasto.