The two companies will study hybrid and electric aircraft ecosystem and infrastructure requirements
The two companies have signed a memorandum for a joint hybrid and electric aircraft ecosystem and infrastructure requirements research. The aim of the study is to “address the entire aircraft operations ecosystem in order to better support the aviation industry’s transition to sustainable energy,” Airbus said in a statement.
“The project scope includes five work packages. The researchers will analyse the impact of ground infrastructure and charging on range, resources, time and availability at airports.”
In addition, the collaboration also includes a plan to involve a renewable energy supplier to ensure genuine zero CO2 emissions operations.
“Aircraft are roughly 80 per cent more fuel efficient per passenger kilometre than they were 50 years ago. However, with air traffic growth estimated to more than double over the next 20 years, reducing aviation’s impact on the environment remains the aim of the industry,” Airbus added.
Future belongs to electricity
Airbus is not the only aircraft manufacturer that has been investing in hybrid and electric planes development. Currently, there are more than 170 companies around the world working on electric and hybrid aircraft systems and components.
The number includes giants such as Boeing as well as small startups like Wright Electric that teamed up with easyJet in October last year.
“The technological advancements in electric flying are truly exciting and it is moving fast,” said easyJet CEO Johan Lundgren when announcing the cooperation.
“From the two-seater aircraft, which is already flying, to the nine-seater which will fly next year, electric flying is becoming a reality and we can now foresee a future that is not exclusively dependent on jet fuel.”
Similarly, in a recent report, London Heathrow airport has predicted that electric aircraft would be flying from major international airports by 2030.