World’s First All-Electric Passenger Plane Takes Flight

Photo: Getty Images [via Daily Mail]

The Facts

  • On Tuesday, a prototype all-electric nine-passenger commuter aircraft took off from Washington State's Grant County International Airport, marking a significant milestone for carbon-pollution-free aviation.

  • Eviation Aircraft, based in Arlington, Wash., developed the plane named "Alice." The zero-emissions plane is powered by two 640-kilowatt electric motors, and its inaugural eight-minute flight reached an altitude of 3,500 feet (1,070 meters).

The Spin

Narrative A

This marks the start of the next exciting era of aviation. Eviation has successfully electrified the skies with this unforgettable first flight, showing the world what affordable, clean, and sustainable aviation looks and sounds like. Alice's first flight was a momentous occasion for the aviation industry.

Narrative B

The sky is unlikely to be filled with all-electric planes anytime soon. Scientists still have to push lithium-ion technology to unknown limits or make batteries using other types of chemistry. It's unclear if the FAA will know how to certify electric planes as safe for passenger flights before 2028. Implementing an overhaul to electric planes would be extremely challenging.

Nerd narrative

There is a 45% chance that by 2050, it will be possible to purchase a zero-emissions flight from New York to London for less than half US weekly household income, according to the Metaculus Prediction Community.

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