Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?



1st Certified Electric Passenger Plane Comes From…

Originally published on Gas2.

Speaking of electric planes… China’s first passenger electric plane, the RX1E Ruixiang (whatever that means), has been produced. Get ready for 5 million more!… (or not).

While we are still a long way off from passenger electric planes making any sense for anyone but the über rich (or 以上 rich, I should say), you have to admit that it’s pretty fun dreaming about this.

Experimental human-carrying electric planes have been in development at least since 1973, as Green Optimistic‘s Satya Sivani writes. And as I just wrote moments ago, a Frenchman has just set a record for being the first person to fly in a 100% battery-electric plane over the English Channel — a feat that took about 36 minutes (with about 14 minutes worth of power left in the plane after landing). But with the current state of batteries as they are (cost and all), it’s just going to be awhile until actual passenger transport in electric planes makes any financial sense… if it ever does.

But, with China jumping into the game, hey, maybe we’re getting there. The RX1E Ruixiang isn’t just the first passenger electric plane produced in China, though. It is “the world’s first electric passenger plane that received an airworthiness certificate.” Knowing very little about aviation, I’ll just assume that’s an important certificate.

“As China’s official media reported, the electric plane, RX1E Ruixiang, designed by Shenyang Aerospace University and Liaoning general aviation academy in the northeastern Liaoning Province, received its airworthiness certificate from the Civil Aviation Administration of China.”

The RX1E Ruixiang’s range is not that different from the range of the two-seat E-Fan that Didier Esteyne just used to fly across the English Channel. While Esteyne’s plane has about 50 minutes of flying time on a full charge, the RX1E has about 40 minutes of flying time. The RX1E maximizes its range with the use of lightweight carbon fiber, and its battery charges in about 1½ hours. Here are some more stats about the plane:

  • wingspan = 14.5 meters
  • maximum cruising speed = 150 km/h
  • maximum takeoff weight = 500 kg
  • maximum altitude = 3000 meters
  • capital cost = 980,000 yuan (~$157,000)
  • operational cost = 20 yuan (~$) per hour

Pretty cool.

And apparently dozens of other people think so as well. At least 28 orders for the RX1E Ruixiang have been made to date. “Already, the first two airplanes were delivered to Liaoning Ruixiang General Aviation Co., which will use them for flight training.” However, there are many other potential uses for such a plane as well (aside from pure fun), such as tourism, meteorology, and (reportedly) rescue operations.

Now, if only there was a way to install something on the top of electric planes that could turn sunlight into electricity… then an electric plane could fly around the world!

I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it! We just don't like paywalls, and so we've decided to ditch ours. Unfortunately, the media business is still a tough, cut-throat business with tiny margins. It's a never-ending Olympic challenge to stay above water or even perhaps — gasp — grow. So ...
If you like what we do and want to support us, please chip in a bit monthly via PayPal or Patreon to help our team do what we do! Thank you!
Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Written By

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.


You May Also Like


We've already manufactured an awful lot of steel. There are hundreds of billions of tons of the stuff lying around, much of it obsolete.

Clean Power

We've mined enormous amounts of iron and coal in order to build infrastructure to extract, process, refine, and distribute fossil fuels, and we're going...

Climate Change

Wucker's work is much more read and attended to in Asia than in the west. Short-termism and individualism has reached its nadir in too...


Methanol is like hydrogen. Job one is to decarbonize existing uses before inventing new ones. As a marine fuel, it's not the best choice.

Copyright © 2023 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.