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Start-up aims for all short flights to be electric in 20 years

Signal of change / Start-up aims for all short flights to be electric in 20 years

By Anna Simpson / 20 Apr 2017

Start-up Wright Electric’s goal is for every short flight to be electric within 20 years. In March, at Y Combinator's Demo Day, it offered a preview of its first plane, an 150-seat airliner designed for flights like New York-Boston, London-Paris, and Seoul-Jeju. 

Electrification depends on major advances in batteries. For now, Wright Electric has a plan B in hybrid planes, not dissimilar to a Chevy Volt. 

So what?

Electrification of flights could be a significant factor in meeting emissions reduction targets to reduce global warming. The sustainability of electric aviation depends as much on the source of energy - which has to be renewable for this to have an impact on emissions. The commercial case, in the long run, is strong: every airline is looking to reduce its spend on fuel. A cheap and inexhaustible source of power could make the airline very competitive once it takes off (so to speak).


This related article was spotted by Gwyneth Fries on 5 Dec 2017:

Small hybrid-electric airliners ready for take off

ELECTRIC cars are clean, quiet and, it seems, the way of the future. Tesla, an American firm that has done much to help electric cars shed their museli-munching image, is struggling to meet demand for its mid-market Model 3 (though that has not stopped it announcing plans to build electric lorries as well).

What might the implications of this be? What related signals of change have you seen?

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