Short-ranged electric flights are on the horizon. Just recently Eviation’s Alice airplane took its first flight, turning the aircraft from a proof of concept to a legitimate competitor in the future of aviation.
Running quieter, at zero emissions, and a fraction of the cost to fly when compared to similar sized airplanes, Eviation has already sold 125 Alice jets to growing airline companies and is set to deliver between 2026 and 2027. For now, Alice jets are being produced and marketed as luxury planes that can serve for regional travel and fit 9 people.
Why the low capacity? Similar to EVs, the limiting factor right now for electric planes is the batteries. Even with cutting-edge technology, these planes are speculated to only fly commercial flights safely for a little more than 200 miles, or the distance from Boston to New York. The battery also weighs about 8,200 pounds, which when combined with other features of the plane, limits how many people and how much luggage it can carry. Cleantechnica has done an excellent breakdown of different electric airplanes and their projected ranges if you’re interested in a deeper dive.
Still, Alice’s flight is an important milestone and is targeted at tackling an industry that according to Deloitte, could be responsible for 25% of emissions by 2050 if jet engine usage continues to rise. While the price for these flights won’t yet be cheap, it could be the start of something special that changes the way we travel long term and long distance.
While Eviation is focussing on short-distance, the other companies are looking at something a bit…bigger and faster. If you want to learn more about the future of aviation, check out “Could Supersonic Flight be the Future of Clean Air Travel?“