If you thought an all-electric air travel is a distant future, you are mistaken!
The future of electric mobility will be a reality sooner than you thought. Electric cars have already made mainstreams in developed economies and that pace is picking up in emerging economies as well. Traditional modes of transportation run on fossil fuels which are a major source of harmful emission. Rising clamor against unsustainable business practices with little regard for environment have made corporations and government policy makers take note of this who have now realized the cost of ignoring harmful effects of their activities on the environment and ultimately on their business.
While almost all major vehicle manufacturers have launched their electric version of vehicles initially aided by government, only a handful companies have been brave enough to think about the electric air mobility. Air travel emits significant amount of Carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere. 500 million tonnes of CO2 is emitted each year by aircraft across the world with 285 gm of CO2 per KM emitted which by far is the highest among all other modes of transportation in terms of per km emission. More people are flying these days all because of lower airfare and rising income. Air travel which used to be a leisure activity accessible only to a few, has now become a necessity even for the middle class. Uber will soon launch its Air Taxis for urban air mobility much on its current model of shared mobility. This will significantly increase the proportion of air travel and this could potentially have a catastrophic impact on the environment.
The switch to electric modes of transportation is beneficial for all of us in many aspects – environmentally, economically and socially. It is emission free: electric airplanes don’t emit harmful CO2 into the environment. Some might argue that if the source of electricity which is supplied to charge these batteries is from harmful, polluting source then it destroys the whole purpose of zero-emission electric aircraft. But research has shown that even if the source of electricity generation is polluting then also the overall addition of CO2 to the environment is significantly lower than addition of CO2 by fossil-fuel-run aircraft. And if the source is renewable then voila! Here you go with zero-emission from generation to usage. Electric airplanes are generally quieter thereby reducing noise pollution which creates havoc for other species and lower operating expenses on aircraft maintenance, fuel etc.
Eviation Aircraft, an Israel-based all-electric airplane manufacturer is scheduled to launch its first flight in 2022 by its electric Airplane called Alice which will serve the need for sustainable regional air transportation. It is a 9-seater plane with a range of 650 miles and speed of 280 mph. This is not the only company working on making mobility sustainable, there are quite a few others as well working on making air mobility electric.