Innovative Means to Minimize Electric GSE         Charging Infrastructure Costs               

This page updated December 22, 2005.

Electric Transportation Engineering Corp

Innovative Means to Minimize Electric GSE
Charging Infrastructure Costs

Technology and Innovation
ETEC has develop an electronic controller which allows battery charging infrastructure for electric airport ground support equipment (eGSE; pushback tractors) to be installed without the need to install a new power supply circuit for the charger. The ETEC Bridge Power Manager (BPM) allows the power supply circuit for the passenger bridge typically installed at each gate of an existing airport to also supply power for a battery charger located at or near that passenger gate. With use of the ETEC BPM, this circuit is routed through the BPM, allowing it to power both the passenger gate bridge and the battery charger.
This innovation is important because the cost of providing the new power supply circuit traditionally required to power battery chargers for eGSE is often more than the cost of the battery charger itself. Using the BPM, the cost of installing battery charging infrastructure for eGSE can be significantly reduced, allowing the eGSE to be installed and operated at costs competitive with internal combustion engine-powered alternatives.
Project Description
The proposed project will demonstrate the effectiveness of a Bridge Power Manager in providing sufficient electrical power to allow charging of a high power electric pushback tractor, without interfering with control of the passenger gate bridge to which it is connected. The demonstration will be conducted at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) at a passenger gate operated by Untied Airlines. A high power electric pushback tractor developed by ETEC in conjunction with FMC Corporation, United Airlines, and the Sacramento Municipal Utility District will be used to demonstrate the BPM.     
The pushback tractor will undergo a capacity test of its propulsion battery. The capacity test will baseline the start of the BPM demonstration. The electric pushback tractor then will be placed in service at SFO, charging via the BPM. The electric pushback tractor and BPM will be operated for a period of six months. Data will be collected during the operating period to validate proper operation of the BPM. Upon completion of the demonstration period, the capacity of the electric pushback propulsion battery will be tested again to verify that the BPM has provided sufficient electrical power to maintain battery capacity.

Funding Source

Funding Amount




$  49,500

United Airlines,
FMC Corporation and SMUD

$  91,700

ICAT Funded Projects