What’s Going On Here?
Aviation giant Easyjet, have announced that they are partnering with European startup Wright Electric, aiming to create cheap electric flights by 2027.
What Does This Mean?
The year-old startup, Wright Electric, who have recently been funded by world-class technology incubator Y Combinator, is partnering alongside Easyjet with the dream to create the world’s first fully electric passenger aircraft.
“Easyjet has had discussions with Wright Electric and is actively providing an airline operator’s perspective on the development of this exciting technology,” the low-cost airline told the BBC.
With fuel costs being such a high barrier for low-cost airlines, the hope is that electric travel will be able to drastically reduce the price of flying.
But the project is not without risk. Co-founder of Wright, Jeff Engler admitted that “if battery technology doesn’t advance quickly enough the plane may have to have a hybrid engine, rather than full electric, as all the energy would have to be used at takeoff.”
Image: Battery Advances per decade
Why Should I Care?
Short-haul flights under 300 miles make up about 30% of all flights and it is a $26 billion market. Making short inter-city “hops” a lot cheaper and potentially a lot more environmentally friendly (depending on where the electricity for charging the batteries comes from).
With airlines already racing to the bottom providing a greener option that is cheaper than the “dirty” option becomes a no-brainer for both company and consumer.
The BIGGER picture
Whilst Tesla have been making waves in the automotive industry since 2003, it has taken almost a decade for the concept of electric cars to be implemented into huge car manufacturers ‘roadmap.’ As Engler neatly explains, “It’s going to take an airplane company just as long, if not longer [to become established]. We have to get started!” And started they have…