Harbour Air Sets The New Standard In Electric Air Mobility
A little while ago, Bicle told you about Urban Air Mobility (UAM). A simple concept to solve the lack of space on the roads in big cities around the world, with what basically are flying electric taxis. But what if flying on electricity would not be limited to UAM only? What if commercial airlines would switch to use electricity as their fuel? The environment would be saved from having to cope with millions of liters of burned kerosine and we all would be far less dependent on fossil fuels. What would you say if Bicle told you that some airlines are already making this a reality? Read all about it in this article.
The ability to fly solely on electricity requires one major challenge to be solved. How to store the massive amount of energy a plane needs to fly in such a tiny space? For any given weight, jet fuel contains 14 times more usable energy than a state-of-the-art Li-ion battery. Just think about the fact that the majority of commercial airlines are trying to reduce weight on their planes by introducing fares on additional luggage and you know why this imposes a problem.
Canada is leading in E-flight
Canada is home of one of the first commercial airlines that is switching its entire fleet to electricity. Harbour Air, an airline that flies over 500.000 passengers between Seattle, Vancouver and other cities, is converting its 41 airplanes to fully electric aircrafts. The length of the flights, which are never longer than around 30 minutes, are perfect for an initiative like this. Harbour Air is not making this switch all by itself, instead they are working closely together with Magnix. The engineers of Magnix come from leading companies as Airbus, Boeing, Google, Ford and Tesla. They have envisioned a world where electric motors power airplanes cleanly and more efficiently, in a way that benefits the environment and lowers costs for consumers.
But Harbour Air does not only do the environment a favor, the company itself is also reaping the benefits of its electrification. A regular jet motor will have to be maintained approximately after every 3000 flight hours, an electric motor does not require that. Moreover the company is transforming its old airplanes and thereby prolonging the product lifecycle of these vehicles.
It will probably take many years for the major commercial airlines to follow the example that Harbour Air set. It simply will not be possible for a long time to story enough electricity in an Airbus A380 to fly it from Amsterdam to New York. But every airplane that flies on electricity instead of fossil fuel is one step in the right direction. And singlehandedly, Harbour Air makes sure that 500.000 passengers are traveling in an environmental friendly way every year. Let’s just hope this example will inspire many more.