Avinor, Norway's airport operator, has said that all of Norway's short-haul airliners should be entirely electric by 2040. Chief executive Dag Falk-Petersen said Norway aims to be the first in the world" to make the switch to electric air transport saying "We think that all flights lasting up to 1.5 hours can be flown by aircraft that are entirely electric. "This would cover all domestic flights and those to neighbouring Scandinavian capitals. "When we will have reached our goal, air travel will no longer be a problem for the climate, it will be a solution," Falk-Petersen said.
Norway is a leader in electric transport with more electric cars on the road than any other country. According to reports, Avinor will put out a tender to test a commercial route with a small electric aircraft starting in 2025.
Meanwhile Boeing backed startup Zunum has begun building its first electric airplane motor and is working with U.S. agencies to prepare for commercial flights to take off from small U.S. airports in 2022, Chief Executive Officer Ashish Kumar has said. In an interview Kumar said that Norways decision on electric aircraft proves "a significant shift in consciousness."
Zunum's prototype motor is due to be tested this year, with an improved version flying on a test aircraft in 2019, Kumar said. Zunum's planes will be battery powered, with a gas generator to extend range.
Zunum says "Our series hybrid powertrain was designed for an eventual transition to fully electric, without requiring any mechanical retrofitting. Designing with batteries at 12 to 20% of total weight, we've future-proofed our aircraft for 15 to 20 years, enabling us to embrace future technologies and fly faster over time. Our batteries and range extenders are sized specifically for regional distances, with an optimized system that balances the depletion of batteries and use of range-extenders in-flight. We've designed aircraft for various flight scenarios, each capitalizing on the most efficient configuration of resources for the demands of the flight. We deliver unmatched safety through a left-right distribution carefully architected to balance power in real-time, by building a reconfigurable distribution system that is resistant to faults and sizing power sources optimized for safe flight."
Source and top image: Zunum