Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) recently added to its fleet of more than 235 alternative-fuel vehicles (AFVs) by taking delivery of its first hybrid-electric vehicle, the Honda Insight, at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

The first hybrid-electric vehicle sold in the United States, the Insight operates using a combination lean-burn gasoline engine and a high-efficiency electric motor. It meets California’s stringent Ultra Low Vehicle Emission (ULEV) standards, and achieves a rated fuel economy of 61 mpg in the city and 70 mpg on the highway.

LAWA’s 235-plus AFVs — which run on compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas, propane, electricity and now hybrid/electric systems — represent 35 percent of its fleet at LAX. The goal is to reach a 50-percent AFV fleet by 2003.

“LAX has become a proving ground for alternative-fuel vehicles that are helping to better the quality of our air,” said LAWA Executive Director Lydia H. Kennard. “The airport represents an excellent showcase for modern transportation methods, and will continue to take a leadership role in demonstrating the viability of alternative-fuel vehicles, including hybrid-electric vehicles, to meet numerous transportation needs cleanly, quietly and efficiently.”

LAX’s AFVs currently include sedans, pickups, vans, buses, utility trucks, street sweepers and a recycling collection vehicle. For its extensive use of alternative fuels, LAWA previously has received the “Clean Air Award” from the Coalition for Clean Air and a “Certificate of Achievement” from the California Natural Gas Coalition. In addition, LAWA has been recognized for its participation in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Cities Program.

Besides LAX, LAWA owns and operates Ontario International, Palmdale Regional and Van Nuys Airports.