OSLO: Norway’s state-owned aviation company, Avinor, has pledged their commitment to developing a range of electric airplanes for short-haul flights around the country.
Currently, electric planes remain in the prototype stage, bogged down by issues of heavy batteries and short distance capabilities. Similar to how a Tesla can’t drive as far as a gasoline-powered car, electric planes are unable to stay in the air for more than a couple hours.
Advances are being made by ambitious manufacturers, however, who are pushing fossil fuel-free technology to new limits. In 2015, the two-seat E-Fan aircraft made by Airbus crossed the English Channel in a demonstration flight. Following other successful tests, production of a limited line of the planes began last year.
Additionally, a Slovenian-made two-seater with a one-hour flight capacity – designed for flight school trainings – has been approved for use in Australia. There are several other prototypes too, including a unique NASA model with 14 propellers and a 12-seater hybrid created by Zunum Aero with a 1,126-kilometer (700-mile) range.