Conventional fuel for transport (air travel, in particular) is one of the most significant contributors to CO2, making the electrification of travel high on the list of priorities in terms of fighting climate change. Air Canada, Canada’s largest airline, demonstrated its commitment to this goal by agreeing to purchase 30 ES-30 electric-hybrid aircraft currently being developed by Heart Aerospace in Sweden.
As lithium-ion batteries power this aircraft, they will generate zero emissions and yield significant operational savings and benefits. Per the agreement, Air Canada also obtained a $5 million equity stake in Heart Aerospace.
Air Canada’s introduction of the ES-30 will allow the airline to serve heavily frequented regional and commuter routes in a sustainable way. It will also be quieter, have improved operational parameters, and have a smaller environmental footprint than conventional aircraft.
Even if the reserve-hybrid generators need to be employed, they will be stocked with sustainable aviation fuel. When fully charged (which should take about 30 to 50 minutes), the ES-30 is expected to have an all-electric, zero-emission range of just over 124 miles. With power supplemented by the generators, this distance goes up to just under 250 miles, and up to almost 500 miles if the load is restricted to 25 passengers.
“Air Canada has taken a leadership position in the industry to address climate change. The introduction into our fleet of the ES-30 electric regional aircraft from Heart Aerospace will be a step forward to our goal of net zero emissions by 2050,” declared the President and Chief Executive Officer of Air Canada, Michael Rousseau, in a statement. “Already, Air Canada is supporting the development of new technologies, such as sustainable aviation fuels and carbon capture, to address climate change,” he added. “We are now reinforcing our commitment by investing in revolutionary electric aircraft technology, both as a customer for the ES-30 and as an equity partner in Heart Aerospace.”
The regional aircraft is projected to enter service in 2028.