Alice attracted special attention at the Paris Air Show. The Israeli startup Eviation Aircraft received a “double digit” order for an $ 4 million electric aircraft nicknamed Alice. The aircraft can fly 650 miles (1,046 km) at speeds of around 500 miles per hour (805 km / h) with three electric motors at the tail and one at each wingtip. This prototype carries a 900 kWh lithium-ion battery (about nine times bigger than Tesla’s largest automotive battery).
Electricity is much cheaper than using fuel. With lower maintenance, faster turnaround and a more durable system, electric aircraft can save millions of dollars on short-haul flights each year.
A small plane, such as the Cessna Caravan turbo-prop, will need $ 400 for conventional fuel for a 100-mile flight. But with electricity “it will be between $ 8- $ 12, which means much lower costs per flight hour”.
The engineers see a greater future for hybrids, which can combine lighter and smaller jet engines with an electric boost during takeoff and ride, for 30% fuel savings. Additional thrusters or e-propellers also help stability, allowing a leaner airframe to reduce drag and further consumption.
Hybrid technology, where electricity helps throughout all flights, will be ready in the next few years. Boeing and JetBlue have invested in Zunum Aero to launch hybrid technology later this year. Right behind is United Technologies-Raytheon joining the release of a hybrid retrofit from its regional turboprop, and an Airbus entry will come out in 2022. Meanwhile the number of electric aircraft under development continues to grow. Roland Berger’s consultation estimates that the number will jump from 170 to 200 by the end of the year.