Air Canada orders 30 electric-hybrid aircraft for takeoff in 2028

The 30-person planes will fly regional and commuter routes.

Air Canada has announced a purchase agreement of electric-hybrid aircraft from Swedish firm Heart Aerospace, moving electric aviation further towards the runway.

The Montréal-based flag carrier has ordered 30 of Heart’s ES-30 electric-hybrid aircraft, and will also have a $5 million USD equity stake in the company, whose other investors include the Bill Gates-backed Breakthrough Energy Ventures and United Airlines Ventures.

“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,” Air Canada president and CEO Michael Rousseau said in the press release. 

Held aloft by four lithium-ion battery-powered prop motors — electric aviation has a lovely bit of vintage feel — with turbogenerator reserves, Heart claims the ES-30 will have an all-electric range of around 124 miles, which can be doubled using the hybrid engine and quadrupled if passengers are limited to 25 from its standard 30. 

Air Canada has announced a purchase agreement for 30 electric-hybrid aircraft the carrier hopes to have running regional and commuter routes by 2028.

Air Canada’s electric-hybrid aircraft will serve regional and commuter routes in the 30-passenger configuration. According to Heart founder and CEO Anders Forslund, Air Canada is a “strategically important” company because it already runs one of the world’s largest networks of regional turboprops.

In April, the airline powered flights to its four pan-Canadian hubs of Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montréal using sustainable aviation fuel, Insider reported; it joins major carriers United and American Airlines, as well as a myriad of smaller players, in investing in electric-hybrid and fully electric aviation. 

Air Canada’s efforts to go greener in more electricity-friendly short routes is also being reflected in other projects, including regional flights around Hawaii of electric “seagliders” hope to begin operation in 2025 and Spanish airline Air Nostrum’s plans for plying the Iberian skies in airships.

We’d love to hear from you! If you have a comment about this article or if you have a tip for a future Freethink story, please email us at [email protected]

NASA invests $57 million in a 3D laser printer to build moon bases
NASA has invested $57.2 into construction company ICON’s 3D printer for building on the moon, Mars, and beyond.
Rolls-Royce tests its first hydrogen-powered plane engine
Rolls-Royce and easyJet have demonstrated for the first time that a modern plane engine can be safely powered by hydrogen fuel.
What the new Earth-threatening asteroid means for humanity
In a remarkable achievement, three new large asteroids have been found in the most elusive place: inside the orbit of Earth.
Astronomers detect “mystery molecule” in exoplanet’s atmosphere
Thanks to the James Webb Space Telescope, we now know more about the atmosphere of WASP-39b, a distant gas giant, than any other exoplanet.
New ultra-thin solar cells could be the future of space power
Ultra-thin solar cells could extend the operational lifetimes of satellites while also making missions less costly and more efficient.
Up Next
Subscribe to Freethink for more great stories