As electric cars are further on the rise, this technology might also find use in commercial airplanes soon. The startup “Wright Electric” has made environmentally friendly flying its priority.
The goal: In 20 years every short haul flight should be carried out by electric powered airplanes.
Electric Airplanes - easyJet in alliance with Startup
To perform this, Wright Electric is looking for investors. The current airplane project would have space to accommodate 150 passengers and fly up to 300 miles. Accordingly, it would be suitable for high volume short haul flights like New York - Boston, London - Paris and Seoul - Jeju.
These routes account for approximately 30% of all flights worldwide. Wright Electric estimates the potential market to be worth 26 billion US Dollar. With a team of ex NASA technicians who’ve already worked on a electric airplane project before, Wright surely has the necessary manpower available.
Meetings with easyJet
To get a better understanding of modern airplane requirements, Wright has teamed up with easyJet. A spokesperson of the company mentioned to “The Independent”:
“easyJet has had discussions with Wright Electric and is actively providing an airline operator's perspective on the development of this exciting technology”.
The greatest hurdle: the batteries
The greatest hurdles are currently the performance, the volume and the weight of nowadays batteries. With current technologies, all available energy would already be used after launch. Tesla founder Elon Musk says that a suitable battery would need an energy density of 400 Wh/kg. To compare: the batteries of Tesla cars have an energy density of 250 Wh/kg.
Wright prospects that the development of batteries will continue throughout the next years and should soon be on a suitable level. If not, also a hybrid solution might be possible. The company writes in its latest blog report:
"So we’re nowhere close to a commercial plane. But it’s a start”
What do you think about electric planes? Share your opinion in the comments!