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Rolls-Royce and Scandinavian airline Widerøe say they can have an electric plane in service by 2026

March 16, 2021
2 min read
Rolls-Royce and Scandinavian airline Widerøe say they can have an electric plane in service by 2026
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The race to develop the first green airplane is heating up.

Rolls-Royce and Italian planemaker Tecnam announced a new partnership with Scandinavian regional airline Widerøe to develop a fully electric passenger plane.

While a number of legacy companies and startups are working on electric flight, what's notable about the new partnership is its ambitious timeframe: the companies say they're aiming to have the plane ready for passenger service by 2026.

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The companies said they were focusing on developing a plane for the commuter market, which typically means a plane that seats 19 or fewer passengers. Rolls-Royce already had existing partnerships with both Widerøe and Tecnam.

The effort is likely a sign of things to come as the global aviation industry strives to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

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Airbus last year announced a new initiative to develop full-size hydrogen-powered aircraft by 2030, and other engine and airframe makers, such as GE, Honeywell, and Boeing are also investing in alternative fuel projects.

Widerøe is not the first European airline to collaborate with an electric planemaker. Low-cost carrier EasyJet partnered with U.S. startup Wright Electric to develop a fully electric commercial plane with the decade.

More:A Look Inside Eviation’s Alice, the All-Electric Plane Headed to Cape Air

However, basic battery engineering makes it difficult to design a large-scale electric plane, despite the success of some single-engine and prototype models.

Even so, the three partners are optimistic.

"This collaboration strengthens our existing relationships with Tecnam and Widerøe as we look to explore what is needed to deliver an all-electric passenger aircraft for the commuter market," Rob Watson, director of Rolls-Royce Electrical, said in a press release. "It also demonstrates Rolls-Royce’s ambitions to be the leading supplier of all-electric and hybrid electric propulsion and power systems across multiple aviation markets."

Featured image by Dario
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
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10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
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Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023