The world’s first fully-electric commercial aircraft took its inaugural flight in Vancouver, Canada and flew for 15 minutes. The 62-year-old seaplane can fly for about 160km and is retrofitted with an electric motor.
The plane belongs to Harbour Air which reportedly ferries 500,000 passengers a year and is looking to electrify their entire fleet of 40 planes by 2022. Though electric aircraft have been flown before, they are either unmanned or are experimental demonstrators.
Harbour Air CEO and founder Greg McDougall said in a statement,
“Today, we made history. I am incredibly proud of Harbour Air’s leadership role in re-defining safety and innovation in the aviation and seaplane industry. Canada has long held an iconic role in the history of aviation, and to be part of this incredible world-first milestone is something we can all be really proud of”
In 2018, aviation produced 2.4% of total CO2 emissions and also induces warming through pollutants. The emissions are expected to triple by 2050 with an increase in air travel and freight.