Innovation is the name of the game for luxury industry leaders like Rolls-Royce, so it’s no surprise they have a variety of sustainable travel projects in the works. Last month, Rolls-Royce released its newest project — an all-electric plane set to take flight later this spring.
Dubbed ACCEL (Accelerating the Electrification of Flight), the initiative is aimed at not only using electrification, but setting records in the industry, including a top speed of over 300 miles per hour. The current record for an all-electric plane is 210 miles per hour, so the goal is a leap in both power and performance. Plus, the plane is set to bring an eco-friendly option to a traditionally high-polluting industry. With the densest battery pack ever used in an electric plane, ACCEL should be able to travel around 200 miles per charge. For reference, that’s the distance between London and Paris. The three electric engines are expected to produce a constant 500 horsepower with a quiet ride and zero emissions.
Rob Watson, Director of Rolls-Royce Electrical said: “Building the world’s fastest all-electric aircraft is nothing less than a revolutionary step change in aviation and we are delighted to unveil the ACCEL project plane. This is not only an important step towards the world-record attempt but will also help to develop Rolls-Royce’s capabilities and ensure that we are at the forefront of developing technology that can play a fundamental role in enabling the transition to a low carbon global economy.”
Rolls-Royce has undertaken this endeavor with a host of partners. YASA brings a history of electric motor manufacturing, and an eager start-up, Electroflight, provides technology and research. The team also includes the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) and Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and Innovate UK. Funding for the plane is subsidized by the government of the United Kingdom where the blue and white one-seater prototype was unveiled in December.
Business Minister Nadhim Zahawi said: “The UK has a proud heritage and enviable worldwide reputation for advances in aviation technology. The electrification of flight has the potential to revolutionise the way we travel and transform aviation for decades to come – ensuring we can travel worldwide while maintaining a low carbon footprint. Backed by Government funding, Rolls-Royce is pushing the boundaries even further, and this new innovation could become the fastest electric plane ever.”
Continued testing is underway with the goal of making an initial run for the speed record in the spring of 2020.
Images via Rolls-Royce