The state-run Norwegian aviation firm Avinor — which runs 45 airports in Norway — is planning to embrace electric aircraft as soon as they hit the market, an exec has been quoted as saying.
The plan is reportedly to build on the country’s success to date with regard to plug-in electric vehicles, further helping to reduce direct country-level carbon emissions in Norway. The country is of course home to substantial hydroelectric generation capacity, so the potential to reduce carbon emissions via the electrification of the transit sector is substantial.
“In my mind, there’s no doubt that by 2040 Norway will be operating totally electric” with regard to short-haul flights, the head of Avinor, Dag Falk-Pedersen, was quoted as saying at a recent conference.
The exec also noted that the firm’s strong interest should help to get commercialization efforts at major firms (Boeing, Airbus, etc.) moving along, as Avinor is pretty much committing to the future purchase of electric aircraft for short-haul flights.
Commenting on the subject, Falk-Pedersen stated: “Airbus told us they need a customer and they need a market — and we can offer them both. Of course they need a bigger market and more customers. But someone has to start.”
Reuters provides more: “Norway, a mountainous country of 5 million people with towns beside remote fjords, would be ideal for electric planes which can accelerate faster than conventional planes and so need shorter runways, he said. … Norway’s Transport Minister Ketil Solvik-Olsen said Oslo would try to repeat its success in promoting electric cars, backed by tax breaks and other perks such as free parking and recharging points.”
“Last year, more than half of new cars sold in Norway were electric or hybrid, the highest rate in the world. But he admitted ‘when we talk about battery driven planes there’s no doubt that most people are a bit skeptical.'”
Even with that being the case, Falk-Pedersen noted that: “It could be that we are presenting a tender within a year or two to the market to commercialize electric aircraft.”
Such a tender would reportedly only be for 5–15 planes, each seating only 12–50 people, but that would still represent perhaps enough of a start to get commercialization going.