Akasol to supply Goldhofer with battery systems

Akasol supplies Goldhofer with its AKASystem 15 OEM PRC 50. The battery system will be used in all of Goldhofer’s Phoenix E towbarless aircraft tractors, which the company is now producing in series. Akasol has also appointed a new chief financial officer.

As reported, an electric aircraft tug of the Phoenix E type has been in use at Munich Airport since the beginning of 2021. Goldhofer’s Phoenix models are “towbarless” aircraft tractors. Here, the aircraft is not towed by a tow bar, but the nose wheel is embraced and lifted by the tractor.

According to the Darmstadt-based battery system manufacturer Akasol, an expansion of the cooperation to other vehicles is possible in the future. Goldhofer also builds aircraft tractors of the Bison series with electric drive; this is a conventional tractor with a tow bar. Such a vehicle is being tested at Vienna Airport.

After test operations in Munich and Zurich, Goldhofer presented the series version of the Phoenix E at the GSE Expo currently taking place in Las Vegas. The electrified aircraft tow tractor with a 220 kW electric drive can effortlessly tow wide-body aircraft with a take-off weight of up to 352 tonnes and reaches speeds of up to 32 km/h. “The performance of our Phoenix E aircraft tug includes the same towing power and the identical, enormously wide range of aircraft as the previous diesel variants,” says Lothar Holder, member of the board of directors and head of Airport Technology at Goldhofer. “This is thanks in particular to Akasol’s high-performance lithium-ion battery system. The switch to electrified drives is therefore possible without hesitation and thus enables emission-free operation.”

The batteries supplied by Akasol are modular and can be ordered by customers in four sizes – specifically 66, 99, 132 and 165 kWh energy content. With the largest battery, according to the Akasol release, about 15 pushbacks are possible without interruption when using 80 per cent of the capacity. After that, the Phoenix E can be charged with all common DC charging standards (CCS1, CCS2, CHAdeMO and GB/T) with up to 150 kW. A quick charge from 20 to 80 percent is said to take 30 minutes. The AKASystem 15 OEM PRC 50 is liquid cooled, IP67 compliant and certified to ECE-R100, ECE-R10, DNV-GL, according to the manufacturer.

“We are particularly proud that Goldhofer has chosen our battery systems and is thus making consistent progress in the electrification of their vehicle models,” says Akasol CEO Sven Schulz. “The advantages of electrified heavy-duty and special transport vehicles are obvious: no CO2 emissions, lower noise emissions and more comfortable driving characteristics with significantly higher efficiency at the same time. The fact that the aircraft tractor can effortlessly tow over 350 tonnes illustrates that our battery systems can also be used in extremely power- and energy-intensive applications.”

There is also another important personnel matter at Akasol: CFO Carsten Bovenschen has left the company at his own request on 30 September to take on a new challenge. A successor has already been appointed; as of 1 October, Jörg Reinhardt was appointed to the board and has taken over the role of CFO.

Bovenschen had been a board member at Akasol since the beginning of 2019. “I would like to express my sincere thanks to Carsten Bovenschen for his outstanding service to Akasol AG. In his almost three years on the board, he not only promoted Akasol’s dynamic growth, but was also instrumental in the successful takeover by BorgWarner,” said Christoph Reimnitz, chairman of the supervisory board.

BorgWarner is the appropriate keyword for Reinhardt: The manager worked for the US supplier for over 18 years, most recently as Chief Financial Officer for the Turbo Systems division in Europe and South America. At Akasol, he is responsible for finance, human resources, investor relations, legal and general administration.

akasol.com (agreement with Goldhofer), akasol.com (CFO)


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