Air Canada has announced plans to buy 30 electric-hybrid planes from Heart Aerospace in Sweden. As part of the deal, the national carrier will also invest US$5 million in the company.
The ES-30 aircraft, which can accommodate up to 30 passengers and has a 200 km range when powered only by the aircraft’s lithium-ion batteries, is scheduled to enter service in 2028.
With the addition of reserve hybrid generators that can run on sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), this can be increased to 400 km, and if the load is limited to 25 passengers, it can be increased to 800 km.
A galley and a bathroom will be included in the 2-1 arrangement of the aircraft.
Michael Rousseau, president and chief executive officer of Air Canada, commented on the news as follows:
“Air Canada is leading the way in the aviation sector in addressing climate change. To move closer to our objective of net zero emissions by 2050, Heart Aerospace’s ES-30 electric regional aircraft will be added to our fleet.
“Air Canada already supports the creation of cutting-edge technology to combat climate change, such as carbon capture and sustainable aviation fuels.
As a customer for the ES-30 and an equity partner in Heart Aerospace, we are now reaffirming our commitment by investing in cutting-edge electric aircraft technology.
Short-range commercial aircraft are beginning to make sense because to advancements in battery technology.
Many startups are developing practical electric aircraft, and some are beginning to catch the interest of significant airlines. One of the startups is called Heart Aerospace.
We covered the Swedish startup’s announcement of the ES-19, a 19-seat electric aircraft designed for brief flights, when it made headlines last year. The ES-19 was designed to have a range of up to 250 miles (400 km), although it can carry 19 passengers on short flights with that range.
Heart Aerospace revealed the plane last year along with the fact that United Airlines Ventures (UAV), Bill Gates’ investment arm Breakthrough Energy Ventures, and Mesa Airlines had invested in the company.