Lufthansa Technik subsidiary Lufthansa LEOS is to deploy electrically powered hybrid towbarless aircraft tugs after a development contract for the project was signed with Sweden’s Kalmar Motor. The company says the electrically powered tug, ‘eSchlepper’, is the only product of its kind worldwide in this power class, capable of moving aircraft with a maximum take-off weight of up to 600 tonnes. The first prototype is scheduled to be delivered at the end of 2014. The eSchlepper would primarily be used for repositioning and hangar towing operations involving long-haul aircraft, towing them over distances of up to seven kilometres. The all-wheel-drive electric vehicle will be powered by lithium-ion batteries, externally charged from the electricity network.