United Airlines buys 100 electric planes from Heart Aerospace – Robb report

Stealing without guilt can be a reality sooner than anyone ever imagined.

United Airlines announced on Friday that it had invested in Swedish electric aircraft start-up Heart Aerospace. As part of the investment, the airliner agreed to purchase 100 ES-19 electric jets from the company once their jets meet United’s safety, business and operational requirements. The investment is part of the airline’s plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 100% by 2050, not counting on traditional carbon offsets. (Mesa Airlines, which is partnering with United to bring electric planes into commercial service, has also conditionally agreed to add 100 ES-19s to its fleet.)

Using Heart’s battery-powered planes, United ultimately hopes to undertake regional commercial flights with zero operational emissions. The airline says the ES-19 planes will be larger than competing electric planes, accommodating up to 19 passengers, and fly up to 250 miles on one charge. In a statement, United said the planes will operate using the same technology used in electric cars, which likely means they will be powered by lithium-ion batteries. United have said they are confident Heart will have the ES-19s ready to go to market by 2026.

Once operational, United says electric planes could potentially fly up to 100 of United’s regional routes. “We expect the regional short-haul air transport market to play a key role in the evolution of the electric aircraft,” United chief executive Michael Leskinen said in a statement. “As battery technology improves, larger caliber planes should become viable, but we’re not going to wait to start the journey. Some of the routes so far include Chicago O’Hare International Airport, Purdue University Airport, San Francisco International Airport, and Modesto City-County Airport.

The American airline and Breakthrough Energy Ventures are the first investors in Heart Aerospace. Leskinen said he was part of a plan to change how the aviation industry works. “We share the point of view (with Breakthrough Energy Ventures) that we need to create companies that have real potential to change how industries work and in our case that means investing in companies like Heart Aerospace that are developing an aircraft. viable power line, ”he said. mentionned. “We recognize that customers want to take ownership of their own carbon footprint even more. “

If United’s plan comes to fruition, that property could be conferred on travelers within five years.

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