Eviation Aircraft Ltd., an Israeli aviation company, displayed the Eviation Alice, an entirely electric commuter plane, at the Paris Air Show this week.
The Alice, which can seat nine passengers and two pilots, can fly at 273 miles per hour for up to 621 miles on one battery charge, at a cost of $200 per hour of flight. The battery comprises 65% of the plane’s weight. The plane's unusual and modern look, which Eviation CEO Omar Bar-Yohay described as "whale-shaped," is due to its aerodynamic efficiency.
Eviation already has orders for a "double-digit" number of airplanes from US regional carrier Cape Air, with which Eviation signed its first deal. Each plane will carry a $4 million price tag.
“Operating at a fraction of the costs of conventional jetliners, our Alice will redefine how people travel regionally and usher in a new era of flying that is quieter, cleaner, and cost-effective,” Bar-Yohay said.
The use of electric planes, especially if they "take off" and become widespread is a step in the right direction to a cleaner environment, as the high carbon emissions from standard planes have been a source of concern for environmentalists. Electric planes can also potentially decrease the high costs of plane travel due to the huge amount of oil planes require.
Bar-Yohay, speaking at a press conference at the Paris Air Show on Tuesday, said that the Alice will undergo flight-tests this year and will then be tested for certification by the American Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The company is expecting Alice to be ready for commercial use by 2022.