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Is air travel going electric? Air Canada thinks so

by | Sep 22, 2022 - 10:23AM | Travel

Air Canada electric airplane hero image

Air Canada has just bought 30 electric aircraft to add to its fleet.

This changes the game because many flagship carriers have been talking about buying electric planes for a while, but Air Canada has actually gone and done it.

That begs a couple of questions: Is air travel going electric? And what does that mean for passengers?

READ MORE: This AirYacht concept is an insane mix between a yacht and a blimp

The electric-hybrid aircraft Air Canada has added to its fleet are made by Heart Aerospace, a Swedish start-up.

Dubbed ‘ES-30’, the plane can carry 30 passengers seated three across with an aisle in between.

Think of them as a significantly smaller and more compact version of the Boeing 737-800 that most low-cost airlines use.

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The plane is capable of flying in electric-only mode for 200 km (120 miles) but the range can be doubled by using additional generators.

With only 25 passengers on board and in electric-hybrid mode, the plane can cover up to 800 km / 500 miles.

Charging takes 30-50 minutes and the range only makes them usable in a limited number of scenarios.

Obviously, this means they can only fly domestically or, in the case of a country as large as Canada is, regionally.

And for the number crunchers out there: the aircraft can cruise at 20,000 ft and needs a 1,100 m runway to take off and land

Furthermore, the aircraft look crazy cool.

This clearly doesn’t make any difference from a technical standpoint but it doesn’t hurt either.

Air Canada says passengers will be able to book a flight on the new electric aircraft in 2028 and that means we can reasonably expect other carriers to be ready to make the switch by then too.

If all goes well in terms of safety and ticket sales for Air Canada, it could kick-start an ‘electric’ revolution by the end of the decade.

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