EV leader Norway looks to the skies | RenewEconomy

EV leader Norway looks to the skies

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Norway, the world leader in electric vehicle adoption, is now looking to make Norwegian skies as green as their roads.

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Source: Pipistrel

Norway, the world leader in electric vehicle adoption, is now looking to make Norwegian skies as green as their roads.

The tiny electric plane made by Slovenian company Pipistrel was tested this Monday at Oslo airport with Transport Minister Ketil Solvik-Olsen and  head of state-run Avinor Dag Falk-Petersen on board.

The environmental impact of standard aviation fuel is high, accounting to around 2.1% of global CO2 emissions according to figures from the EU Parliament.

The same report suggests that by 2050, emissions from air traffic is expected to be up to 10 times higher than 60 years before.

Source: Pipistrel

Solvik-Olsen says the flight by Pipistrel’s Alpha Electro G2 is a move in the right direction by the Scandinavian country.

“This is … a first example that we are moving fast forward toward greener aviation”, he told Reuters.

The plane, which seats two people and has a take off weight of 570km, could be ideal for the country of 5 million people characterized by fjords, remote islands and mountains.

With a price tag less than that of a Tesla Model S, the company says the cost of flying it is a tenth of its gasoline equivalent.

In a country where nearly 40% of cars on the road are electric, one could wonder about the uptake of small electric planes as a personal mode of transport.

However, the test was not aimed at becoming a personal transport solution, but rather a step towards sustainable public aviation to meet the Paris Climate agreement.

Falk-Petersen, who piloted the plane, told Reuters that in regards to when electric passenger flights would be commonly available, “My best guess is before 2025 … It should all be electrified by 2040.”

For that to become reality, a lot of work still needs to be done in terms of battery weight and range – as well as consumer trust.

“We do have to make sure it is safe – people won’t fly if they don’t trust it,” says Solvik-Olsen.

Planemaker Pipistrel joins other aerospace developers with their Alpha Electro G2, such as NASA who recently announced that their all-electric X-57 could make its first flight as soon as 2019.

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12 Comments
  1. George Darroch 2 years ago

    Still a lot of issues to be worked out before aviation is electrified, primarily energy-density and safety. But right now it’s possible to electrify almost everything aviation-related that doesn’t involve getting up into the air, and that’s still a big win.

    In the medium-term we’ll see small-medium commercial aircraft making short hops, and longer ones as time goes on.

    • john 2 years ago

      Aviation is very well regulated.
      An Aeroplane has to have energy to get to the nearest available landing point at any time during its flight with reserve.
      It does not matter what type of energy it is using.
      So there will not a problem you want to use Plane XRE, which happens to use batteries you will be certified by the wireless connection.
      Once that has been certified you are given directions for take off.
      If during the flight you have a problem usual procedures are in place you have enough reserve because that was certified in your flight plan and every contingency was taken into consideration when you connected to land at the alternate air port.
      I do not see a problem this is every day occurrence.

      • Graeme Harrison 2 years ago

        I’m not saying 1hr extra ‘fuel’ is not required, but also, smaller 2-10 seater electric commuter aircraft will be flying slower, and having a parachute that is deployable makes sense to overcome all other concerns. With fossil fuelled planes, it is usually the horizontal speed that kills you in a crash, not the vertical speed.
        Due to the urgency of humanity needing to go the renewable route, we should ‘cut some slack’ re rules/certification for all-electric planes (and cars).

    • Alastair Leith 2 years ago

      Regenerative decent and air-braking in aircraft? LOL

      Seriously a lot moving in this space though, decent in battery prices and increase in energy density and power output potential are key to this, as are new materials and more streamlined aircraft designs.

  2. juxx0r 2 years ago

    a take-off weight of 570km?

    • dono 2 years ago

      thats stretching it a bit.

  3. Ben Davies 2 years ago

    Less than a Tesla model S. Sounds like it is getting affordable. Wikipedia gives the price as Euros 69,000 and fuel consumption at 1/10 the cost of gasoline.
    I wonder if there is an electric helicopter in offing? To compete with the Robinson.

  4. Ian 2 years ago

    To tackle the problem of electric powered flight simple swapping of fuel and engines for batteries and electric motors in large planes is unlikely going to do.

    We should go back to physics first principles.

    What are the types of energy losses that the motive unit needs to overcome?

    1. Potential energy – lifting the plane to its flight part height.
    2. Momentum – accelerating the plane to its cruising speed
    3. Air resistance – overcoming air friction to maintain its speed
    4. Active controlled descent – shedding potential energy
    5. Active controlled deceleration – slowing the plane down
    6. Landing resistances.
    7. Other energy losses like altering velocity direction, centripetal forces

    A380 Airbus

    • Ian 2 years ago

      I thought I might share this air resistance calculation that was cribbed from

      http://www.softschools.com/formulas/physics/air_resistance_formula/85/

      1) A large passenger jet is flying at a velocity of 250.0 m/s. The area of the airplane’s wings facing the wind is A = 500.0 m2. The drag coefficient is CD = 0.024. At the altitude the airplane is flying, the density of the air is ρ = 0.4500 kg/m3. What is the force of air resistance acting on the passenger jet?
      Answer: The force of air resistance can be found using the formula:

      http://www.softschools.com/formulas/images/air_resistance_formula_3.png

      F = 168750 N
      The force of air resistance acting on the passenger jet is 168750 N.

      • Alastair Leith 2 years ago

        Except that those in the business of aircraft manufacturing are looking at 100 passenger seat aircraft for shorter trips being faster, not slower as part of the sales pitch and desirability. Moving the engines to a more flight worthy position  — which becomes possible with multiple electric fans in place of two to four big jet turbine engines  — is part of the solution.

        https://weflywright.com/blog/

  5. DogzOwn 2 years ago

    Norway 40% cars electric? Is this even credible for new car sales, surely not for total cars?

    • Graeme Harrison 2 years ago

      Yes, it is 40% of ‘new car sales’.

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