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Norway Tests Its First Electric Plane

Avinor, a state-run aviation company in Norway, tested a two-seater electric plane in June.

The plane called Alpha Electro G2 was built by a Slovenian company called Pipistrel, according to Reuters.

Norway aims to be the first country in the world to switch to electric air transport. The company said passenger flights in the electric plane could start by 2025. The Norwegian government plans to make all domestic flights electric by 2040.

The two passengers of the plane were Norway’s transport minister Ketil Solvik-Olsen and Avinor CEO Dag Falk-Petersen. The flight around Oslo airport lasted a few minutes before landing safely. The pair reported the plane was much quieter than a conventional plane.

According to Pipistrel, its electric plane has around 50 kilowatts of power and a battery of 21kWh. This is enough to keep the plane flying for an hour. It weighs 770 pounds without any passengers but can handle a takeoff weight of 1212 pounds.

“We are now seeing rapid, positive development in environmentally friendly technology in the transport sector. Electric drives and batteries are changing shipping and road transport. It is incredibly exciting that we can also contribute to leading the way in environmentally friendly air travel,” Mr. Solvik-Olsen said in a news release.

“By introducing Norway’s first electric aircraft, we will be demonstrating that this is not a far-off vision of the future but a reality achievable within a few years,” he added.

The current problem with electric planes is that the batteries are heavy and have limited range. However, companies are working on overcoming these problems.

Other companies, including Boeing and Airbus, are working on their own versions of the electric plane.

Airbus, Rolls-Royce, and Siemens are collaborating on a hybrid-electric commercial airplane that they aim to test by 2020.

Seattle-based startup Zunum Aero is also working on bringing a 12-seater, hybrid-electric commuter aircraft to market by 2022. It is backed by Boeing and JetBlue Airways.

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