EasyJet Planning Electric Planes In the Next Decade

UK low-cost airline easyJet has announced a partnership with U.S. based Wright Electric, a zero-emissions research firm, to build an electric commercial airplane for short routes.

So far, very few specifications are known so far. What is known is that the planes will handle only short routes of up to 335 miles to start. Short trips translate to 20 percent of Easyjet’s commercial passenger business. According to Wright Electric, the airliner is “designed for flights like New York-Boston, London-Paris, and Seoul-Jeju.”

Lower emissions, lower costs, and a lower flight turnaround time are also major calling cards. According to The Guardian, Wright Electric says that electric planes will be 50-percent quieter and 10% cheaper than traditional aircraft, a move that could ultimately reduce passenger fares. The minimalist Wright Electric website also calls out four key features – distributed electric propulsion systems, swappable battery packs, high aspect ratio wings for an efficient flight, and a quieter design.

“For the first time in my career I can envisage a future without jet fuel, and we are excited to be part of it,” said Carolyn McCall, chief executive of easyJet. “It is now more a matter of when, not if, a short-haul electric plane will fly.”

This move represents a broad strategy to electrify all short flights within two decades. At the moment, Wright Electric and its team of aerospace engineers, battery experts, and chemists have already developed a two-seater prototype, efforts of which will later scale to produce larger aircraft in size order from a single-aisle to a 120-passenger plane.


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