As electric cars, vans and trucks are slowly but surely becoming more common in road transport, also air travel is facing a new era. Airplanes powered by batteries that can produce energy for short flights are expected in North Europe by 2026. Heart Aerospace, a startup in Gothenburg, Sweden, believes it has the capital and resources to do it, and so do airlines that have already ordered electric aircrafts from the company.
The first product the startup is developing is a 19 seat passenger airplane. The model ES-19 can fly 400 km / 248 miles with full batteries. The flight time is about an hour.
Heart Aerospace intends to focus on Nordic countries and Europe in early stages, but has received orders for the electric passenger plane from New Zealand, and plenty of interest from Asia and North America. Sweden’s government has ruled that domestic flights must have zero emissions after 2030. Norway has been more specific, ruling that domestic airplanes must electric by 2040.
Assuming the Swedish startup succeeds in its first goal to deliver safe electric airplanes by 2026,the company is planning to develop larger aircrafts next. The next goal is a 48 seat plane with 2000 km / 1242 mile range.
Before tackling far-reaching future plans, Heart Aerospace’s first concrete milestone is 2024 when three prototypes should take off into the air.
Big batteries that keep electric airplanes in the air have to be recharged on the ground, and fast. Airlines want to keep their planes in the air as much as possible. Airfields must install charging points for these new types of planes. Perhaps some airfields also have to figure out how to increase the capacity of electricity they can output to airplane batteries.
There are hundreds of businesses rushing to create the first safe electric airplane that is also commercially viable for airlines. The Swedish startup in Gothenburg is trusted by a number of airlines to do just that.