We’ve got electric cars and even electric boats, but electric aircraft still aren’t a thing.
Mind you, that may be about to change.
Aerospace startup, Elysian Aircraft, unveiled a concept plane that’s powered by batteries.
They’re working on this project with Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, the same university that came up with a record-breaking hydrogen car.
Dubbed E9X, Elysian’s aircraft sounds promising.
They’ve created different virtual prototypes, theoretically capable of accommodating between 40 and 120 passengers, with a cruise range of up to 620 miles – or 1,000 kilometers.
Another prototype is designed to travel up to 800 kilometers (500 miles) with 90 passengers on board.
Obviously, 500 or 600 miles means the aircraft is only suitable for domestic travel or perhaps trans-continental flights between neighboring countries, especially in Europe.
The proposed aircraft would have a wingspan of around 140 feet – or 43 meters.
Size-wise, these dimensions would certainly make the Elysian stand out.
Most commercial aircraft used today are made by Boeing and Airbus, and they’re almost always either smaller or larger than 43 meters.
The Airbus A318 and A319 that American, Delta, United and Lufthansa use, for example, have a wingspan of 35.8 meters.
By contrast, bigger planes such as the Airbus A350 or the Boeing 747 (below) have a wingspan north of 64 meters.
Not to mention the Airbus A380 with its 79.8-meter wingspan.
According to Delft University and Elysian, this is by design.
The goal is to compete with the A318 and A319 in terms of size, but the wingspan needs to be bigger to accommodate the batteries.
Elysian plans to introduce the first commercial electric plane by 2033, so around a decade from now, with a range of 500 miles and an additional fossil fuel turbogenerator that can be used to recharge the batteries.