FLEETFIX: Kansas City International Airport

KCI BYD electric bus
Airport Fleet Manager Kenny Williams stands with one of KCI's newest BYD buses.

Kansas City International (KCI) Airport (KCI) is owned and managed by the Kansas City Aviation Department. Within that department, the Fleet Maintenance Division provides vehicles and fleet services, which enhance the Aviation Department’s ability to provide operations. The airport has been and continues to be a leader in implementing alternative fuels in airports.

One of KCI’s current CNG buses.
Charging for electric buses
A row of the newly installed DCFC units for charging the new BYD buses.
  • IN 1997, KCI began bringing compressed natural gas (CNG) buses into use at the airport.
  • The fleet is currently approximately half CNG and half electric, and they are working to move to all electric by 2025.
  • Kenneth “Kenny” Williams is the airport’s fleet manager and has been spearheading an effort to move to using electric vehicles (EVs) for shuttle services. He is the one who introduced the concept of green fuel to his manager, and supported his staff with their hesitations. He has led both CNG and EV adoption.
  • Kenny is not only a leader in Kansas City… he has been nationally recognized for his advocacy in the EV arena. He delivered a presentation at the ACT Expo about clean fuel/electric vehicle adoption.
  • Kenny has been recognized in airline magazines for his vision of green technology and electric buses: https://www.airlinereporter.com/2018/04/kansas-city-international-first-u-s-airport-with-a-fleet-of-electric-buses/
  • KCI is the first airport in the country to deploy a fleet of EVs at an airport
  • Kenny has been working on bringing EVs to Kansas City for several years. He led the homework they did in 2015 and 2016, ordered the buses in 2016 and they were delivered in October 2017.
  • The airport has a new goal of moving to having an all electric shuttle fleet by 2025.
  • Kansas City Regional Clean Cities has helped with the procurement and training with the EV adoption, as well as with the bus funding. In addition to the AFV grant, our program coordinator (Sara Lamprise) has assisted with securing funding through a CMAQ grant for another three buses in 2020. [The AFV grant is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Vehicle Technologies Program Number DE-EE0008262, “Accelerating Alternative Fuel Adoptions in Mid-America.” The project is administered by Metropolitan Energy Center.]
Two photos of KCI’s Fleet Manager Kenny Williams: (left) he presented at an ACT Expo in 2017; (right) Kenny’s showing one of the new BYD electric shuttle bus charging systems.

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