Easyjet has announced it is developing electric planes for the budget airline’s short-haul routes. The battery-powered aircraft will be rolled out over the next 10 years and used for flights under two hours.
The company says that electric flying is “becoming a reality” and that this innovation means planes will be quieter, better for the environment and cheaper for airline companies to buy and operate.
electric flying is “becoming a reality”
Partner and US start-up company, Wright Electric, has already begun work on an electric engine to power a nine seater aircraft which they expect to be airborne in 2019. Their partner Axter Aerospace already has a two seater aircraft that is flying.
The prototype propulsion system for the nine-seat aircraft is four times more powerful than the system installed on the two-seat aircraft.
Wright Electric has also filed a patent for a motor that will be used in the larger aircraft. This development suggests that the transition towards an all-electric commercial passenger jet capable of flying passengers across easyJet’s UK and European network is in sight.
Johan Lundgren, CEO of easyJet, commented from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport:
With the introduction of A320neos, we can already provide a 15% reduction in carbon emissions and 50% less noise footprint, putting us amongst the best-ranking airlines in Europe.
Looking forward, the technological advancements in electric flying are truly exciting and it is moving fast. From the two seater aircraft, which is already flying, to the nine seater which will fly next year, electric flying is becoming a reality and we can now foresee a future that is not exclusively dependent on jet fuel
The target range of the electric plane is around 500 kilometres which, within our current route portfolio, would mean a route like Amsterdam to London could become the first electric ‘flyway’. And as it is currently Europe’s second busiest route, this could in turn offer significant reductions in noise and carbon emissions, with multiple take offs and landings every day.