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  • January 22, 2024
  • 5 Minute Read
Press Release

Electrifying Airport Ecosystems by 2050 Could Require Nearly Five Times the Electric Power Currently Used

Study by Enterprise Mobility & Xcel Energy Calls for Collective Effort to Meet Future Electric Power Demands

Enterprise Mobility and Xcel Energy have released the results of a study, co-created with Jacobs, on the future electric power needs of U.S. airports and the industries that contribute to their ecosystems.

Using two airports as examples, the study shows there is a narrowing window of opportunity to build the large-scale infrastructure needed to support electrification of future operational, cargo and passenger needs. With the transition to electric vehicles (EVs) underway across North America and the pace of anticipated growth, time is of the essence to take proactive steps. This study underscores the need for collaboration and partnership across airports, utilities, federal and state regulators, and policy leaders to implement essential upgrades to airports’ power infrastructure.

Why is this important? Airports are major economic drivers, contributing to more than 7% of the nation’s gross domestic product in 2023, according to the Airports Council International North America, and they will continue to drive economic growth as air travel is expected to grow significantly over the next two decades.

Enterprise Mobility, a leading global mobility provider, and Xcel Energy, a national leader in efficient energy, found that by 2050 two example airports in the states Xcel Energy serves could require nearly five times the electric power currently used to be fully electrified. In light of the complexity and planning requirements of large capacity investments for critical infrastructure, the study quantifies the urgency to design and build the grid in due time for growth, stability and resiliency.

“The best path to a sustainable mobility future is one that maintains a long-term perspective and puts the customer at the center of the transition,” Enterprise Mobility Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives Dan Wessel said. "This study is helping us keep the customer front and center while making clear that immediate, cross-industry collaboration is needed to accurately assess long-term power needs and develop cost-effective, scalable infrastructure solutions.”

Jacobs, a leading global professional services firm, interpreted input from more than 50 stakeholders — including airlines, utilities, ground transportation, cargo and third-party providers at Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport and Denver International Airport — to create a comprehensive view of the cross-industry power needs required to meet future electrification targets.


According to the study:

  • Without strategic infrastructure investments, industries that operate in and around airports could face disruptions and barriers to economic growth, sustainability and innovation.
  • The window of opportunity is closing to make “no regrets” investments today to mitigate future travel risks. The two example airports will require nearly double their current power demand in 2030, while infrastructure of this scale requires seven years on average to become operational. Furthermore, the same airports could require nearly five times their electric power demand by 2050.
  • A collective effort by industries, airports, utilities, federal and state regulators, and policy leaders is required to plan and implement essential upgrades to power infrastructure that serves airport ecosystems. 

"Airports are ecosystems for commerce and mobility. As transit and fleet owners electrify their vehicles, and airport operations require more electricity to function, airports will face continued unprecedented demand for power," Jacobs Senior Vice President Koti Vadlamudi said. "Jacobs interpreted a wide range of data and engaged stakeholders across the airport ecosystem to come to this report’s conclusion — now is the time for sensible investment in the power infrastructure that airports will need to operate efficiently, sustainably and with economic drivers in mind."

"This study exemplifies how Xcel Energy is collaborating with stakeholders to meet our customers’ long-term energy needs," Xcel Energy Vice President of Integrated Planning Stephen Martz said. "We’re developing the capacity and skills to best serve our customers into the future. When energy providers build reliable, affordable infrastructure, this supports economic growth while achieving our shared vision to reduce greenhouse gas emissions."

About Enterprise Mobility

Enterprise Mobility is a leading provider of mobility solutions including car rental, fleet management, flexible vehicle hire, carsharing, vanpooling, truck rental, luxury rental, retail car sales and vehicle subscription, as well as other transportation technology services and solutions, to make travel easier and more convenient for customers. Enterprise Mobility, inclusive of its subsidiaries and franchisees, and affiliate, Enterprise Fleet Management, manage a diverse fleet of 2.3 million vehicles through an integrated network of nearly 9,500 fully staffed neighborhood and airport rental locations in more than 90 countries and territories. Privately held by the Taylor family of St. Louis, Enterprise Mobility manages the Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental and Alamo brands.

About Xcel Energy

Xcel Energy provides the energy that powers millions of homes and businesses across eight Western and Midwestern states. Headquartered in Minneapolis, the company is an industry leader in responsibly reducing carbon emissions and producing and delivering clean energy solutions from a variety of renewable sources at competitive prices. For more information, visit or follow us on X, formerly known as Twitter, and Facebook.

About Jacobs

Jacobs is challenging today to reinvent tomorrow by solving the world's most critical problems for thriving cities, resilient environments, mission-critical outcomes, operational advancement, scientific discovery and cutting-edge manufacturing, turning abstract ideas into realities that transform the world for good. With approximately $16 billion in annual revenue and a talent force of more than 60,000, Jacobs provides a full spectrum of professional services including consulting, technical, scientific and project delivery for the government and private sector. Visit or connect on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and X