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Battery-operated planes could be closer to our future than we think, and they are already quite the buzz around Europe as experts work to try to cut down the carbon footprint of the aviation industry.
Small two-seater electric planes are becoming popular in Europe, and electric seaplanes are being tested, but now the world is thinking even bigger. Air Canada recently announced they will be purchasing 30 electric-hybrid regional aircraft from Sweden’s Heart Aerospace. They also expect to have a 30-seat plane in service by 2028. Analysts at the U.S. National Renewable Energy Lab believe that in the 2030s, electric aviation could take off.
This is all due to the looming climate change. Aviation emits an insane amount of carbon dioxide and Pollution into our atmosphere. Unfortunately, airplanes are somewhat difficult to electrify because of the weight of the batteries. The Daily Beast reported that to fully electrify a 737 with today’s batteries, all passengers and cargo would have to be taken out for space, and it would be able to fly for just under an hour.
1 pound of jet fuel is equal to 50 pounds of batteries. That is why it is essential to either start working on making lithium-ion batteries lighter or making batteries able to hold more energy.
Thankfully, there are many options, and researchers are working on developing solutions to help cut down the carbon footprint of the aviation industry. For example, if airplanes used electric power when taxiing on the runway, a large amount of fuel and emissions could be saved.
While it will undoubtedly take some time to get to this point, it’s exciting to know that it’s closer in the future than we may realize!
Remember, the single most impactful action an individual can take is choosing to eat more plant-based foods. A 2021 study found that global greenhouse gas emissions from animal-based foods are twice those of plant-based foods, while the IPCC’s sixth assessment report, entitled Mitigation of Climate change, supports a shift to vegan diets (rich in pulses, nuts, fruits, and vegetables, and devoid of any animal-derived product) as it could reduce food-related GHG emissions by 29 percent (estimated at 6.5 GtCO2e).
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Easy Ways to Help the Planet:
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