was optimistic enough to announce last year that the country wants all domestic flights to be electric by 2040. That’s why a recent announcement by a small airline in the Pacific Northwest was so significant. Harbour Air
, based in Vancouver, announced in March that it is aiming to operate an all-electric fleet.
Harbour Air currently operates 42 seaplanes, or float planes, across 12 routes. The company is now retrofitting some of its existing aircraft with a battery-electric propulsion system from magniX
, an electric drivetrain manufacturer. Test flights of these retrofitted planes are scheduled for later this year, and the company expects the first commercial electric flights to take off in 2022....
In fact, there are already production electric aircraft like Pipistrel’s Alpha Electro
, a two-seat trainer. Harbour Air is currently installing an electric drivetrain as a replacement for a conventional piston motor in a six-passenger de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver
. Part of the reason the company thinks it can pull off electrification is that all of its flights are less than 30 minutes, so current battery technology isn’t a major limiting factor. And according to magniX, the company supplying the propulsion, it saves the company a huge amount of money. A conventional motor costs between $300 and $450 per operating hour. The electric drivetrain from magniX cost $12.