Release 02-18      

April 11, 2002


Jerry Martin
(916) 322-2990

Richard Varenchik
(626) 575-6730
A Clean the Air Success Story

-- The California Air Resources Board (ARB) announced today the success of another Innovative Clean Air Technology (ICAT) grant recipient: ARB helped Electric Transportation Engineering Corporation (ETEC) bring its idea of an electrically powered airline ground support system from the drawing board to reality.

“The retooling of this system to be based on electricity rather than diesel signifies a subtle yet important juncture in the state’s progress toward ‘Zero Emissions,’” said ARB Chairman Dr. Alan Lloyd. “These are hardworking machines and this operation shows that the application of this technology has wide latitude.”

The unveiling today at Sacramento International Airport premiered a fleet of twelve electric powered baggage tractors for use by Southwest Airlines (SWA). The fleet uses a fast charge system that can charge a ground support vehicle discharged from one day of use in one hour or less. ETEC designed the system to fully integrate the new electric ground support equipment (GSE) with SWA’s management systems, human resources and operating strategies. This full-scale demonstration provides others in the airline industry with necessary proof to trust the use of electric GSE. This innovative system eliminates the need for massive electrical infrastructure upgrades and has the added air quality benefit of no diesel emissions.

Through ICAT, ARB provided $260,000 that helped ETEC implement a prototype system of electrically powered baggage transport carts. ICAT grants are designed to aid the implementation of clean air technology through a usually precarious period.  Often after a concept has been proven, funding to create a pilot, prototype, and / or demonstration is often difficult to find. ICAT focuses on this period for projects that in particular can demonstrate the commercial utility of innovations that reduce emissions while promoting new industries and jobs in California. In 2001 ARB approved over $600,000 to be used in such grants. For more information visit the website here.

“I am proud that ARB was able to aid the development of this technology in order to protect the health and well being of all Californians,” Chairman Lloyd continued. “Clearly there are many other areas where the success of this application could be repeated.”

The Air Resources Board is a department of the California Environmental Protection Agency. ARB’s mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. The ARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards.

The energy challenge facing California is real. Every Californian needs to take immediate action to reduce energy consumption. For a list of simple ways you can reduce demand and cut your energy cost, see our website at