Will we someday be able to fly without the guilt of causing environmental damage? A handful of firms and regulators hope that the electric revolution in cars will also take to the skies, helping the industry cope with an expected boom in travel and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“Many people say that we must get rid of air transport because we will never be able to deal with emissions and noise, but this is an outdated approach,” said Norwegian Transport Minister Ketil Solvik-Olsen, who recently hosted an aviation conference in Oslo.
Norway, the largest oil and gas producer in western Europe, is paradoxically a pioneer in the field of electric transport. The Nordic nation aims for all new vehicle registrations to be zero emission by 2025 and launched a first electric ferry in early 2015.
After land and water, the northern kingdom is now turning to the sky with the goal of electrifying all short-haul flights in just over 20 years.
“In my mind, there is no doubt: by 2040 Norway will be operating totally electric,” said Dag Falk-Petersen, head of the country’s public airport operator, Avinor.