The future is electric, as evidenced by the growing movement around the globe to cut transportation emissions to zero.
Vancouver, B.C.-based seaplane company Harbour Air is an interesting part of that movement, as it plans to resume testing its all-electric airplane in 2021, according to CBC News.
The Canadian company, which already flew the electric airplane’s first test flight in December 2020, hopes to be the first company to offer commercial flights on an electric airplane to its customers – and it’s well on its way to doing so.
Currently, regular Harbour Air commercial flights service routes within the Lower Mainland, Seattle, Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and Whistler.
#2019Top4AviationScores A quiet year for pics, but still interesting! 1-Harbour Air Electric DHC2. 2-EA18 Growler on Whitbey Island with no runway lights. 3-AT502 dusting in La Crete, AB. 4-Wilderness Seaplanes in the cold in Port Hardy. pic.twitter.com/Oy929wkOza
— Jason Pineau (@jason_pineau) December 31, 2019
Joined by Seattle-based MagniX to create the plane’s engine, Harbour Air’s plane uses lithium-ion batteries not unlike those aboard the International Space Station.
Harbour Air CEO Greg McDougall founded the company in 1982, and has largely begun focusing on a green future within the last few years. While the company hoped to be carrying passengers on its electric planes already by this point, McDougall also acknowledges that the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic have set the company’s goals back a bit.
McDougall said, “There’s no wavering in our confidence and determination and interest in getting this done.” He continued, “It’s progressing, not as quickly as we hoped due to COVID, but we are getting back on track with the testing program.”
Harbour Air has been approved by Transport Canada to keep testing its e-plane, and hopefully, it’ll mean emissions-free, commercial passenger flights for the rest of us in the years to come.
Zachary Visconti is a writer with a knack for electric vehicles, technology, and climate change. Currently residing in Fort Collins, Colorado, Zach loves his partner, his cat, and a good cup of coffee.