Electric planes could be in the skies within 10 years
EasyJet has taken a massive step towards leading the airline industry in reducing its carbon footprint by confirming that it could be flying electric planes within ten years.
The UK based company revealed that it had teamed up with a US manufacturer, Wright Electric, who are looking to develop a battery powered aeroplane for flights that last under 2 hours.
EasyJet confirmed that if the project was successful it could roll out the planes on short-haul journeys across Europe such as London to Paris. It could also use the planes to make internal flights through the UK such as Edinburgh to London and vice versa.
EasyJet’s Chief Executive Carolyn McCall confirmed that the aerospace industry would follow the lead of the automotive industry in developing electric engines that would cut emissions and noise.
She was quoted in The Guardian as saying “For the first time in my career I can envisage a future without jet fuel and we are excited to be part of it,”
“It is now more a matter of when, not if, a short-haul electric plane will fly.”
Wright Electric claims that it is working with several airlines across the world, especially in America where short haul internal flights make up the majority of air traffic. They claims their new electric models will be 10% cheaper to purchase and maintain and also 50% quieter to operate. This, they say, can be passed on to passengers to make air travel even more affordable.
EasyJet has said that the company’s goal is to make every short flight to be electric within 20 years. The company has already tested a two seater prototype plane and is already working on a fully operational passenger jet with a capacity of 120.
The Guardian reported EasyJet’s chief commercial officer, Peter Duffy, as saying that the partnership would help Wright Electric understand what was required to make the planes commercially successful, looking at factors such as maintenance and revenue management.
“You’re seeing cities and countries starting to talk about banning diesel combustion engines. That would have been unthinkable just a short time ago,” Duffy said. As technology moves on, attitudes shift, ambitions change and you see opportunities you didn’t see. This is genuinely exciting.”
If these plans come to fruition it would only be right to heap praise on a company leading the way in reducing the environmental impact of air travel.