One of the largest sources of pollution is getting a green makeover. Airplanes are going electric.
A U.S. energy startup, Wright Electric, is partnering with EasyJet to design and launch a fully electric commercial plane. They are expecting to complete this feat within the decade.
How it All Began
Wright Electric has already designed a plane that can travel 335 miles, and they were founded just this year. They are a team of engineers and battery chemists - the best combination to create an electric airplane. EasyJet is backed financially by Harvard University, a technology incubator Y Combinator, and the entire state of Massachusetts itself.
The Capacity of the Plane
Given that EasyJet’s average flight is under 2 hours, the 335-mile distance already covers 20% of the passengers EasyJet flies today. 335 miles would be like a trip from New York to Boston or London to Paris. This means there is an exponential amount of room to grow. As stated by EasyJet’s CEO Carolyn McCall, “It is now more a matter of when, not if, a short-haul electric plane will fly.”
The Benefits of an Electric Plane
Making planes that usually run on over 1 gallon of fuel per second entirely electric is an incredible advancement by itself. However, this is just the beginning. Making planes battery-powered will cut both emissions and noise. It will especially cut the fuel costs by millions of dollars.
This is a huge advancement for both technology, energy, and air travel. The possibilities are endless and the opportunities are widely available. With time and a good amount of effort, we will have electric planes flying in no time.
Sources: Bloomberg, CNNMoney