Airline plans to use electric airplanes in 10 years—is that possible?

Enlarge / This electric jet doesn’t exist yet, but it might in 2027! (credit: EasyJet)

One of Europe’s largest airlines, EasyJet, announced on Wednesday that it is aiming to begin service with electric-powered airplanes within the next decade. EasyJet will be collaborating with an aviation startup called Wright Electric to make this vision a reality.

The companies have ambitious goals: they want to build airplanes with room for 120 and 220 passengers and a range of 335 miles. That’s so ambitious, in fact, that I was a little skeptical that anyone should take it seriously.

The fundamental problem is a matter of physics: the energy density of jet fuel is way, way higher than the energy density of batteries. As a result, while a conventional airplane can travel thousands of miles before refueling, electric airplanes can only travel a fraction of that distance before they run out of juice.

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Source: Ars Technica

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