Air Canada have announced they have entered a purchase agreement for 30 ES-30 electric-hybrid aircraft with Heart Aerospace based in Sweden. The revolutionary regional aircraft currently under development are expected to enter service in 2028.
The planes will generate zero emissions flying on battery power and yield significant operational savings and benefits. Under the agreement, Air Canada has also acquired a US $5 million equity stake in Heart Aerospace.
Michael Rousseau, Air Canada CEO and president, said: “Air Canada has taken a leadership position in the industry to address climate change. 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.
“Already, Air Canada is supporting the development of new technologies, such as sustainable aviation fuels and carbon capture, to address climate change. We are now reinforcing our commitment by investing in revolutionary electric aircraft technology, both as a customer for the ES-30 and as an equity partner in Heart Aerospace.”
The ES-30 will allow Air Canada to serve regional and commuter routes more sustainably, providing low-emission connectivity to local communities over the medium to long term. It will be capable of carrying 30 passengers seated three across, in a two-by-one configuration, with a galley and lavatory.
Anders Forslund, Heart Aerospace CEO and founder, said: “Air Canada is a strategically important partner for Heart Aerospace. The company has one of the world’s largest networks operated by regional turboprops.
“It is also a progressive, future leaning company, especially in the green transmission. With the ES-30 we can start cutting emissions from air travel well before the end of this decade.”
The ES-30 aircraft will be powered by lithium-ion batteries, like those used in electric cars. As a result, they will be quieter, have better operational parameters, be more reliable and have a smaller environmental footprint than conventional turbo prop aircraft. This has to be the future of short-haul commuter air travel with worldwide flights accounting for 915 million tonnes of CO2 (in 2019).
The ES-30 will also be equipped with reserve-hybrid generators that can use sustainable aviation fuel. Fully loaded, the ES-30 is projected to have an all-electric, zero-emission range of 124 miles (200km).
This can be extended to 400km with power supplemented by the generators, and up to 497 miles (800km) if the load is restricted to 25 passengers. Charging time for the aircraft is expected to be just 30-to-50 minutes.