All Norwegian short-range airplanes have to be electric by 2040, according to the plan of the airport operator. By doing so, the country has strengthened its role as a pioneer in the electric transport sector.
“We wants to be the world’s first to switch to electric air transport”, said the CEO of Avinor, an airport operator in the country, Dag Falk-Petersen. “We believe that all flights lasting up to an hour and a half can be powered by fully electric aircraf”, said he, adding that this covers all domestic flights as well as those to neighboring Scandinavian capitals.
In the near future, Avinor plans to test passenger service on a small electric jet with 19 seats. According to the operator the first test can happen at the earliest in 2025.
Norway, which is the largest oil and gas producer in Europe, is paradoxically also a leader in the electric transport sector. There are more electric cars than in any other country in the world. The electric and hybrid cars are more than half of new cars registered in 2017. At the same time, the country is also developing projects for electric aircraft.
“When we reach our goal, traveling by air will not be a climate problem, but a solution”, added also Dag Falk-Petersen. In his words, switching to electricity will also contribute to reducing noise levels as well as operating costs for aircraft.
According to the statistics, the air transport in the country represents 2.4% of the greenhouse gases produced by Norway and about 5% when international flights are included.
But before it comes to the use of electric airplanes, it will be necessary to make a transition with intermediate sources of power such as biofuels or hybrid engines.