Rolls-Royce Plans to Debut World's Fastest Electric Plane by 2020
Rolls-Royce wants to go green — and quickly.
The British brand is designing the fastest all-electric aircraft in the skies, with its estimated debut date in 2020. The current record among all-electric planes is 210 mph, set by a Siemens aircraft in 2017. Rolls-Royce's, however, is aiming for 300 mph.
“This plane will be powered by a state-of-the-art electrical system and the most powerful battery ever built for flight," said Aircraft Project Manager Matheu Parr. The world's most energy-dense aircraft battery pack provides enough power to propel the plane 200 miles on a single charge, and the zero-emissions aircraft will reach top speeds of at least 300 mph. The electricity-powered propellers will also make the overall experience smoother and quieter, since the energy-conscious propellers spin at a lower pace than those on standard, fuel-powered aircraft.
If all goes according to plan, the Rolls-Royce plane will make its inaugural debut in Wales next year.
Fossil fuels aren't an eternal resource, and the aviation industry is looking for a viable long-term solution. The quieter propellers could even result in routes to regions that do not permit air travel due to noise restrictions.
Rolls-Royce isn't the only player in the space. Entities around the world are working on more than 100 electric aircraft projects, and a spokesperson for London Heathrow (LHR) anticipates seeing all-electric commercial aircraft in major airports by 2030. The airport has also offered incentives of around $1 million for the first successful carrier that begins operating an electric-hybrid aircraft out of Heathrow.