EasyJet could be flying planes powered by batteries rather than petroleum to destinations including Paris and Amsterdam within a decade.
The UK carrier has formed a partnership with US firm Wright Electric, which is developing a battery-propelled aircraft for flights under two hours.
EasyJet said the move would enable battery-powered aircraft to travel short-haul routes such as London to Paris and Amsterdam, and Edinburgh to Bristol. Wright Electric is aiming for an aircraft range of 335 miles, which would cover the journeys of about a fifth of passengers flown by easyJet.
The airline said it was the next step in making the airline less harmful for the environment, after cutting carbon emissions per passenger kilometre by 31% between 2000 and 2016.
Wright Electric claims that electric planes will be 50% quieter and 10% cheaper for airlines to buy and operate, with the cost saving potentially passed on to passengers.
The US firm said its goal was for every short flight to be electric within 20 years. It has already built a two-seater prototype and is working towards a fully electric plane within a decade. The next step is to scale-up the technology to a 10-seater aircraft, and eventually to build a single aisle, short haul commercial plane, with the capacity to carry at least 120 passengers.
Source : The Guardian