Air Canada has purchased 30 ES-30 electric-hybrid planes from Sweden’s Heart Aerospace, a company backed by Bill Gates’ venture fund. The company failed to disclose the cost of the transaction.
Users online were surprised at how little range the hybrid planes can muster. Under its electric mode only, the planes can fly for just 200 kilometres, a distance that would fail to connect most cities in Canada.
When extending the range through fuel generators, the range goes up to 400 km.
The ES-30 can only carry 30 passengers.
In comparison, a modern Boeing 747 can fly about 15,000 km at a 900km/h speed, more than 37 times the range of Air Canada’s newly purchased ES-30.
Users online also expressed concerns about getting on electric planes as the technology is relatively new and untested.
The main motivation behind Air Canada’s transaction is the company’s plan to meet its 2050 emissions target.
The transaction also generated anger among customers who have been dealing with bad service from the airline in recent months. While Air Canada has customers wait hours on the phone to speak to a customer service representative, they do not seem to be sparing money for planes with little to no real-world use.
The carrier hopes to put the ES-30 into service in 2028 to offer “zero emissions” flights.