Electric vehicles accounted for 50 percent of new car sales in Norway in December – and now the country aims to take the electric revolution to the skies. Norwegian airports public operator Avinor wants all its short-haul flights to be electric in just over 20 years. CEO Dag Falk-Petersen told Agence France Presse (AFP) they’re hoping “to be the first in the world” to switch over to electric air transportation.
Every short-haul airliner should be electric by 2040 in Norway, Avinor said this week. Falk-Petersen told AFP, “We think that all flights lasting up to 1.5 hours can be flown by aircraft that are entirely electric.” He said that would include all domestic flights and trips to nearby Scandinavian capitals.
2.4 percent of Norway’s greenhouse gas emissions come from domestic air transportation – and when international routes are taken into account the figure is over double that. Falk-Petersen told the AFP, “When we will have reached our goal, air travel will no longer be a problem for the climate, it will be a solution.”
There are other benefits to electric flight besides lowered carbon emissions – such as reduced operating costs. Falk-Petersen also said electric flight would halve noise levels at least.
Avinor will explore intermediary technologies, like hybrid fuel-electric options or biofuels, before making the switch to all-electric. The company recently teamed up with the Norwegian Air Sports Federation to purchase the first electric aircraft in Norway from Pipistrel. The Alpha Electro G2 is a two-seater aircraft with a range of 130 kilometers, or just over 80 miles. Falk-Petersen said in Avinor’s press release on the purchase that lower operating costs could have an impact on ticket prices as well.
AFP reported Avinor also aims to start a tender offer to trial a commercial route with a 19-seat electric plane beginning in 2025.