JetBlue Cuts Ground Emissions with Adoption of Electric Vehicles

Oct 21, 2019 11:35 AM ET

As featured in JetBlue’s 2018 Sustainability Accounting Standards Board Report

To tackle ground emissions, we have been actively converting our fleet of owned conventional ground support equipment (GSE) to electric alternatives (eGSE). In line with the Opportunities Escalation Process, this was first identified as an opportunity for large-scale conversion in 2014. We then started a trial at JFK International Airport in 2015. Despite initial skepticism about electric vehicles before the trial, 70% of crewmembers using the vehicles preferred electric over conventional, as they offered similar or better technical performance with less noise and no fumes.

With the success of the trial, a longer term electric-conversion plan was proposed to the CFO. After financial approval the plan was shared with the President and CEO for operational and strategy integration.

This process led to the support of two ambitious goals for the relevant GSE fleet.

Electric Conversion Goals for Baggage Tractors, Belt Loaders, and Pushback Tractors Across JetBlue’s Owned Fleet
2025 40% electric
2030 50% electric

Additional Details on Electric Vehicles

In addition to being preferred by crewmembers, eGSE also:

  • Reduces energy costs
  • Reduces emissions and noise
  • Increases safety due to less aircraft damage and reduces fire risk from fuel

Going forward, our strategy is to expedite conversion to electric vehicle alternatives in locations where governmental funding is available and where we expect regulation. In 2019, we are introducing 118 electric baggage tractors and belt loaders at JFK International Airport. This project is supported by a $4M federal grant from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), received in partnership with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. This large-scale conversion will increase the percentage of our electric baggage tractors, belt loaders, and pushbacks in our fleet system-wide to 21%. We are actively pursuing additional conversion opportunities and partnering with the Massachusetts Port Authority for a large-scale conversion at Boston Logan International Airport.

Learn more about JetBlue's commitment to create industry-leading environmental social governance (ESG) strategies, programs, and disclosure reports in our 2018 Sustainability Accounting Standards Board Report