Air Canada buys 30 hybrid-electric passenger airplanes

Sep 17, 2022

Photo: Heart Aerospace

Air Canada buys 30 hybrid-electric passenger airplanes, acquires stake in electric plane maker, targets 2028 service launch

Canada’s largest airline is snapping up some of the earliest hybrid-electric aircrafts to hit the market, putting in an order for 30 ES-30 airplanes made by Heart Aerospace of Sweden and snagging a US$5-million stake in the company in the process

Flying emission-free in Canada may be a reality closer than previously thought. Air Canada has placed a purchase order for 30 hybrid-electric aircraft from Swedish manufacturer Heart Aerospace, while also securing a US$5-million stake in the company, giving the airline influence over the future of zero-emission flying.

“Air Canada has taken a leadership position in the industry to address climate change. The introduction into our fleet of the ES-30 electric regional aircraft from Heart Aerospace will be a step forward to our goal of net zero emissions by 2050,” said Michael Rousseau, president and chief executive officer of Air Canada in a press release.

The Heart Aerospace planes are expected to go into service in 2028. They will have a zero-emission range of 200 kilometres and be able to carry up to 30 passengers. The planes are powered by lithium-ion batteries and each aircraft will have a back up hybrid generator (powered by sustainable aviation fuel) to extend range to 400-to-800 km depending on the number of passengers. The planes are expected to take 30 to 50 minutes to charge.

Introducing Heart Aerospace

Göteborg-based Heart Aerospace is a startup aviation company.

“At Heart Aerospace we work at the cutting edge of technology while contributing towards a sustainable future. Heart’s mission is to create the world’s greenest, most affordable, and most accessible form of transport,” reads the company website.

Heart has received a previous order its hybrid-electric aircraft. United Airlines and Mesa Air Group purchased 200 19-seater aircrafts (the ES-19) with an additional option for 100 planes in 2021.

“The ES-30 is an electric airplane that the industry can actually use. We have designed a cost efficient airplane that allows airlines to deliver good service on a wide range of routes,” said Anders Forslund, founder and CEO of Heart Aerospace. “With the ES-30 we can start cutting emissions from air travel well before the end of this decade and the response from the market has been fantastic.” At the same time as the Air Canada deal, Swedish aerospace company Saab also acquired a US$5-million stake in Heart Aerospace.

(Source: Electric Autonomy Canada)

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