Eviation receives first commercial orders for its all-electric aircraft

Israeli start-up Eviation Aircraft has received the first order for its all-electric commuter aircraft Alice. The regional airline Cape Air, based in Massachusetts, will use the “double-digit” orders for its commercial flights.

Eviation displayed the first fully functional Alice model at the Paris Air Show in Le Bourget recently. Alice is also the first all-electric commuter aircraft on the market, with popular names like Zunum, Airbus and Siemens already in the field and promising hybrid propulsion prototypes thus.

Eviation’s aircraft can carry up to nine passengers at a cruise speed of 240 knots, up to 650 miles.

This short-range capability is ideal for Cape Air. Most Cape Air flights are operated by twin-engine Cessna 402s, which also offer nine seats. Its customers typically fly between mainland USA and the Caribbean. And with about 90 aircraft, the fleet serves about half a million passengers annually – according to Quartz – making it one of the US’s largest regional airlines.

Cape Air has its own sustainability programme, directed towards reducing consumption of energy at work and home. So, its move towards electric aircraft is not surprising.

Cape Air CEO, Dan Wolf, said: “We see tremendous opportunities to reduce the environmental impact of our operations, and to help our employees and communities do that as well. Augmenting our fleet with the all-electric Alice aircraft is the next chapter in our future.”

Eviation plans to begin testing Alice later this year, aiming for FAA certification in 2021 and eventually, commercial service in 2022.