It's certainly good to see some other wheeled vehicles doing their part for the environment, even if it is an airplane -- especially if it's an airplane. Actually this news isn't about the plane itself, but a "pilot-controlled towing vehicle" for an airplane called a "TaxiBot."
Ricardo -- the same folks that make car components -- have engineered the TaxiBot to allow a plane to turn off its main engines when taxiing to the gate and around the concourse. The trick is an automated clamper placed within a standard tug; once the pilot guides the nosewheel into the clamp, the pilot steers, turns, and brakes the tug with the airplane controls. Instead of motive force coming from giant Pratt & Whitneys, the tug's two 500-hp V8s can pull planes up to 747s and A340s.
If adopted widely, the TaxiBot could save airports and airlines millions of dollars in gas and debris damage as well as sparing the world tons of CO2 emissions. You can get the details on the taxibot and its implementation in the press release after the jump.