While bringing tremendous benefits, air travel has a big environmental footprint. A Boeing 747, for instance, emits 92 kg of CO2 per hour. With about 8 million people flying on a daily basis, we need a healthier plan. Electric airplanes have good potential.
Electric planes can cut down emission up to 25% and reduce the noise while traveling, making flying more pleasant. There have already been electric planes designed to harvest solar power while in the air. Today this technology is even more mature. German company Siemens announced an electric plane prototype that flies at record breaking speed, 210 miles per hour, making it the fastest electric plane currently produced.
Completely battery powered, this aircraft can go 600 meters high up in the sky in only 76 seconds. “Just six such propulsion units would be sufficient to power a typical 19-seat hybrid-electric airplane” said Frank Anton, head of the eAircraft at Siemens.
We humans, unlike other animals, tailor our environment to our needs or even convenience. With the power to alter our planet, where we live together with 8.7 million other species, comes the responsibility to protect and shape it for the better. At 210 miles per hour, the Siemens electric plane is not able to take over the commercial airplanes just yet, but it’s a step that can bring us to a good future.