The Airbus E-Fan Takes To The Skies

The technology starts with inherent advantages. Electric motors may weigh the same as turbine engines, but are 2.5 times more efficient at converting stored energy into mechanical power. And they’re up to six times more efficient than conventional piston engines.

Needless to say, there’s a very long way to go before a viable electric plane becomes a commercial reality. But the aviation industry’s biggest names wouldn’t be working on the concept if they didn’t think it was realistic.

With electric plane technology specifically, though, the bottom line is that it will advance as fast as Elon Musk and others can push forward new battery technologies. This is happening as we speak – and at the current rate of progress, there’s a good chance that our future will feature all-electric planes that are as commonplace as conventional jet engine-fueled planes are today.

Good investing,

Tim Maverick

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Neil Armstrong 3 years ago Member's comment

If the airframe & wings where covered with the latest or future very thin pliable high output solar cells then this plane & others would have much greater range??

Tony Bodle 3 years ago Member's comment

The potential is huge, and so are the Problems, but with modern technology it should be possible.. We have to be aware that the outsourced materials - Electricity / Batteries / Size of planes.. Its a long haul project. If it can be made, the benefits are very high. But in parallel we need to carry the out sourced problems and solution along at the same time, otherwise we are simply moving the problem, not solving it.

No Name 3 years ago Member's comment

Gives the "LOW-BAT" alert a whole new meaning.

It is a great development. On the other hand, we need to add the carbon footprint of lithium, from mining to recycling. Manufacturing of the cells includes cobalt and powerful solvents. Not only batteries come out of the plant, but slurry. Also, with lower power and shorter autonomy, more flights and stops will be needed. And recharges: how many cycles can these batteries stand? All that has it's own cost in terms of energy efficiency. And money, of course, wich will be paramount for acceptance.

I'm all in favor of dumping oil (pun intended) as an energy source, but do not jump into the happy wagon yet. Airbus et al might be on the right track, but won't go hailing anyone as the Ecological Savior yet. Also, 22 million? Really? How much money do they make from selling just one of one gas guzzling 380?

Francis Sammut 3 years ago Member's comment

Perhaps and most probable, in the near future we might see passenger airliners also taking to the sky!

Neil Armstrong 3 years ago Member's comment

Very interesting but only for the very rich??

Lars Thomsen 3 years ago Member's comment

Operating costs (fuel and maintenance) of small electric planes will be only 10-20% compared to those of avgas powered single engine piston. And you have virtually no maintance or overhaul costs on the engine(s). So even if the planes will be a little more expensive to buy (maybe 20-50%), they will be very inexpensive to operate. And due to the fact that they are virtually silence, you might be able to fly at hours and places that are closed for SEPs.