The world’s fully electric plane took its inaugural test flight from the Canadian city of Vancouver and offer hopes that airlines may end their polluting emissions.
“This proves that commercial aviation in all-electric form can work,” said Roei Ganzarski, chief executive of Seattle-based engineering firm magniX.
The company designed the plane’s motor and worked in partnership with Harbour Air, which ferries half a million passengers a year between Vancouver, Whistler ski resort and nearby islands and coastal communities.
Ganzarski said the technology would mean significant cost savings for airlines not to mention zero emissions.
So far, electric planes have failed to make much of a dent.
It also hopes to be using the electric-powered planes to carry passengers by 2022.
“This signifies the start of the electric aviation age,” he told reporters.
Civil aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of carbon emissions as people increasingly take to the skies and new technologies have been slow to get off the ground.
The World’s First Fully Electric Plane Has Flown Successfully For Almost 15 Minutes.
“Our goal is to actually electrify the entire fleet. There’s no reason not to,” said the reporter.
On top of fuel efficiency, the company would save millions in maintenance costs, as electric motors require “drastically” less upkeep, McDougall said.
Watch First Ever Video Of Commercial Electric Plane Take Off:
In Ottawa, Transport Minister Marc Garneau told reporters ahead of the maiden flight that he had his “fingers crossed that the electric plane will work well.”
However, Harbour Air will have to wait at least two years before it can begin electrifying its fleet of more than 40 seaplanes.
The e-plane has to be tested further to confirm it is reliable and safe. In addition, the electric motor must be approved and certified by regulators.