The largest electric plane yet took flight for the first time in early June


According to NBC News, the largest electric plane yet took flight for the first time in early June. The aircraft flew at more than one hundred miles per hour to an altitude of around 2,500 feet, then made a few turns, and landed after twenty-eight minutes of flight. The aircraft, called the eCaravan, weighed over four tons, had a wingspan of over fifty feet, and had room for up to nine passengers. In addition to its size, the eCaravan had the strongest battery to ever be put into an electric plane. The plane was powered by a 750-horsepower electric motor, supplied with energy by more than 2,000 pounds of lithium-ion batteries. ~

With the rise of cleaner energy sources, electric planes like the eCaravan are going to prove crucial to preserving the atmosphere. Roei Ganzarski, CEO of magniX, noted on the turboprops jets and airplanes use to fly today,  and said, “that’s a waste of fuel, it’s a waste of emissions, and it’s not good for the environment” (Knowledia). According to Smithsonian Magazine, airplanes use about 740 million gallons of fuel per day and jet fuel produces twenty-one pounds of carbon dioxide emissions per gallon burned. This correlates to more than 15.5 billion pounds of carbon dioxide emissions per day from aircrafts around the world. Furthermore, electric aircrafts are cheaper than those run on fossil fuels. According to NBC News, a half-hour trip over Moses Lake by the eCaravan cost just $6 of electricity instead of $300 of kerosene. ~

Although the cleanliness and cost deficits seem appealing, more advances need to be made before these goals are achievable on a large scale. For example, the eCaravan has a range of only about 100 miles, while a turboprop Cessna Caravan with the same weight of kerosene can fly about 1,500 miles (NBC News). This lack of ability for long-range flight dampens the reach electric aircrafts could have around the world, but Ganzarski claims eventually an “electric aircraft can be better than fossil-fuel propeller planes over distances of up to 1,000 miles, which make up more than half of all passenger flights in the world today” (Knowledia). ~

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