Air travel may be entering a new electrified era. Air Canada recently announced the acquisition of 30 electric-hybrid aircraft.
The airline’s purchase in Sweden’s Heart Aerospace signified a step toward decreasing its carbon footprint and embracing a lower-emissions fleet.
“The addition of the ES-30 electric regional aircraft from Heart Aerospace to our fleet will be a significant step toward our objective of net zero emissions by 2050,” stated Michael Rousseau, president and CEO of Air Canada, in a press release.
The airline plans to have these planes in service by 2028. The new ES-30 will be an Air Canada fleet workhorse for regional and commuter flights.
The ES-30 will seat 30 passengers, according to the specs released by the aircraft’s maker, Heart Aerospace.
The primary propulsion system consists of four battery-powered electric motors and a reserve hybrid turbogenerator.
The planes will have a maximum height of 20,000 feet and a variable range, depending on the power source.
Depending on the number of passengers, the company claims it can fly 200 kilometres (about 124 miles) using only electric power and 400-800 kilometres (approximately 250-500 miles) using gas/electric hybrid power.
According to Air Canada, these planes can recharge in 30 to 50 minutes. According to Electrek, it takes between 15-25 minutes to charge a Tesla electric vehicle using the brand’s fastest chargers.