Electric vehicles seem like a very likely path for the future. More and more car companies are investing in electric, electric boats are gaining popularity, and electric work-related vehicles have started to find their ground. In the past few months, both New York and California have voted to ban the sale of gas-powered cars by 2035. The airplane, however, seems like it may be forced to remain a gas-guzzling vehicle for quite a while longer, but that transition could be closer than you think.
The Eviation Alice, reportedly named after both “Alice in Wonderland” and the Jefferson Airplane song “White Rabbit”, lifted off the tarmac at Grant County International Airport on September 27th for its first test flight ever. Instead of the loud roar of a gas powered aircraft, however, the plane emitted more of a hum. This, of course, is due to its two 640-kilowatt electric motors. The all-electric zero-emission plane spent only around 8 minutes in the air, reaching 3,500 feet. Future tests will expand the length and distance of flight, taking the plane one small step at a time.
“What we have just done is made aviation history. This is about changing the way that we fly. It’s about connecting communities in a sustainable way, and we are obviously beaming with pride on this beautiful sunny day here at Moses Lake.” – Gregory Davis, Eviation’s president and CEO, according to GeekWire
According to the Eviation website, the company is currently shooting to give the plane a maximum payload of 2,500 pounds, a maximum airspeed of 260 knots (~300 mph), and a range of around 250 nautical miles. With this, the company intends to create a quiet flight experience with zero carbon emissions and significantly cheaper flight costs than traditional airplanes.
The company intends to create three variations of the electric aircraft, the commuter, the executive, and the cargo, all meant to change the way we fly and ship across the country.
According to the Environmental and Energy Study Institute, aircraft in the United States contribute 10% of the country’s transportation emissions and 3% of the country’s total greenhouse gas emissions. On top of that, contrails created by frozen water vapor in aircraft exhaust trap infrared rays and cause warming effects up to three times that of CO2. While these impacts may seem to be less dire than others, aircraft use is only growing in the United States and, before the pandemic, the fastest growing cause of individual emissions was air travel.
The idea of short distance electric plane travel may appear to act as more of a pain than anything else. It would more than likely increase travel times from what we currently experience. But, with the environment on the line, it may be the only chance for the future of aircraft (and could it mean significantly cheaper flights, perhaps?).
Image Credit: Skies Magazine on YouTube
This article was originally published by Unofficialnetworks.com. Read the original article here.