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Is the future electric...for planes?

Alice Pritchard

6 October 2017

easyJet has announced it is partnering with Wright Electric to develop a fleet of short haul electric planes that will be operational within the next decade.

Wright Electric has already debuted a two seater battery powered plane and last week unveiled what a commercial easyJet electric plane would look like. It would be capable of flying just over 300 miles, which would cover 20% of Easyjet's routes.

The partnership is part of easyJet's plans to decarbonise. Since 2000, the airline’s emissions have reduced by over 31%, from 116.2 grams to 79.98 grams per passenger per kilometre in 2016.  easyJet has a carbon emissions target of 72 grams by 2022.

Wright Electric has big plans too. The battery propelled plane inventors want every short haul flight to be zero-carbon within 20 years. The company was founded last year by a 

team of aerospace engineers, powertrain experts, and battery chemists, with the intent to reduce global warming via electric aviation

“We share an ambition with Wright Electric for a more sustainable aviation industry. Just as we have seen with the automotive industry, the aviation industry will be looking to electric technology to reduce our impact on the environment. For the first time we can envisage a future without jet fuel and we are excited to be part of it. It is now more a matter of when not if a short haul electric plane will fly, says Carolyn McCall, CEO of easyJet.

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