Norway is getting rid of combustion engines – also in the air. It wants to become the first country in the world capable of deploying electric aircraft for all short-haul flights (domestically and to neighbouring capitals) by 2040. Carriers have already planned the first test route for an electric plane with 19 seats.
The Israeli start-up Eviation Aircraft is developing an electric propeller plane called Alice with a flight range of up to 1,200 km and a flight speed of up to 450 km/h. The aeroplane can accommodate nine passengers and two pilots. If the 12-metre-long, 16-metre-wide aircraft passes its test flights successfully, it will join air traffic in 2021. With a price tag of around 2 million euros, it will be able to compete with petrol models.
Not only the environment but also the cost of fuel are the reasons why the giants of the aviation industry, Airbus and Boeing, are not falling behind in development. The latter provides support to the start-up Zunum Aero, which is launching a 12-seater electric hybrid aircraft in 2022. Airbus, by contrast, is working on an “urban” four-seater electric plane able to perform vertical take-offs and landings. A similar project is being prepared by Uber and the Czech start-up Zuri.