Key Takeaways:

  • Going electric would reduce the aviation sector’s considerable contribution to air and noise pollution, but its importance to the economies of so many countries, and the huge subsidies it therefore receives, means it has little incentive to decarbonize.
  • What is needed for electric aviation to take off?
  • The fundamental problem is the weight of the batteries, although work is being done on technologies, such as lithium-sulfur, that can make them considerably lighter.
  • Other airlines, such as Mesa Air and Finnair, have also placed orders with the company.
  • Large electric drones are being designed for cargo transport, along with aerotaxis, with companies like Archer Aviation, Kitty Hawk or Germany’s Volocopter leading the way, but there are many more that see a future in electric aviation.
  • Nevertheless, electric light aviation and cargo flights will make a major contribution to decarbonizing an industry whose contribution to carbon dioxide emissions, estimated at one billion tons per year, has been unsustainable for too long.

Going electric would reduce the aviation sector’s considerable contribution to air and noise pollution, but its importance to the economies of so many countries, and the huge subsidies it therefore receives, means it has little incentive to decarbonize.

SwedenDenmark and Norway, countries whose geography make them dependent on domestic flights, are already testing small electric planes for these routes, and have set the date for all internal routes to be electric by 2030 in the case of Sweden and Denmark, and 2040 in Norway.

Rolls-Royce, a major player in the aviation world, has been working for some time now on high-speed prototypes capable of trans-European flights as part of a UK government initiative called ACCEL (Accelerating the Electrification of Flight); there are also other companies working on similar projects.

What is needed for electric aviation to take off? The fundamental problem is the weight of the batteries, although work is being done on technologies, such as lithium-sulfur, that can make them considerably lighter. This progress is prompting more and more talk about the possibility that electric aviation is closer than originally thought, with companies such as United and EasyJet among the pioneers, planning routes for 2026: United has ordered one hundred 19-seat aircraft from Swedish company Heart Aerospace. Other airlines, such as Mesa Air and Finnair, have also placed orders with the company.

Large electric drones are being designed for cargo transport, along with aerotaxis, with companies like Archer AviationKitty Hawk or Germany’s Volocopter leading the way, but there are many more that see a future in electric aviation.

For the moment, long-haul flights are beyond the reach of battery-powered aircraft; the current ratio of weight and battery life means this will have to wait until hydrogen technology improves.

Nevertheless, electric light aviation and cargo flights will make a major contribution to decarbonizing an industry whose contribution to carbon dioxide emissions, estimated at one billion tons per year, has been unsustainable for too long.

http://www.enriquedans.com
Contributor

Recently Published

Key Takeaway: Intelligence is a crucial factor in determining one’s wealth, as it contributes to economic and professional success. It is the best predictor of both educational achievement and work performance, and academic and professional success are a fairly good forecaster of income. However, not all highly intelligent people are primarily driven by a desire […]

Top Picks

Key Takeaway: China’s national champions for semiconductor design and manufacturing, HiSilicon and Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC), are making waves in Washington. Huawei’s launch of the Huawei Mate 60 smartphone in August 2023 showed that Chinese self-sufficiency in HiSilicon’s semiconductor design and SMIC’s manufacturing capabilities were catching up at an alarming pace. The US has […]
Key Takeaway: Tech industry leaders are discussing the convergence between humans and machines, inspired by transhumanism. Elon Musk’s company Neuralink aims to facilitate this convergence, aiming to prevent humans from being left behind in technology advancements. Transhumanists advocate for the three “supers” of superintelligence, superlongevity, and superhappiness. Companies like OpenAI, DeepMind, and Anthropic are racing […]
Key Takeaway: Racial and gender bias in artificial intelligence algorithms and language models has been a concern in social robots, which are designed to interact with diverse groups of people. Socially assistive robotics aims to create machines that will help people help themselves, but these robots often do not reflect basic aspects of society’s diversity. […]
Key Takeaway: 13-year-old Willis Gibson became the first human to beat the original Nintendo version of Tetris, dedicating his win to his father. Most gamers are not lazy or mindless, with memorable achievements ranging from heroic to bizarre. Speedrunning, a popular gaming subculture, involves players optimizing routes and exploiting glitches to complete games in minutes. […]

Trending

I highly recommend reading the McKinsey Global Institute’s new report, “Reskilling China: Transforming The World’s Largest Workforce Into Lifelong Learners”, which focuses on the country’s biggest employment challenge, re-training its workforce and the adoption of practices such as lifelong learning to address the growing digital transformation of its productive fabric. How to transform the country […]

Join our Newsletter

Get our monthly recap with the latest news, articles and resources.

Login

Welcome to Empirics

We are glad you have decided to join our mission of gathering the collective knowledge of Asia!
Join Empirics