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| 1 minute read

Electric aircraft – growth of charging network in England is a sign of things to come

We’re used to seeing banks of Tesla charging points at motorway service stations. Now this article reports that UK start-up Aerovolt is rolling-out charging points for electric aircraft. The company’s most recent installation at Dunkeswell Aerodrome in Devon brought its total network to 7 charging points. These are currently concentrated around the south coast of England, but will eventually be distributed across the country, with another 12 under way, and around 70 planned in the next couple of years.

Interest in electric aircraft, particularly small capacity ones, has grown rapidly in recent years, due to advances in battery technology now making short distance electric flight viable, coupled with government net zero targets mounting increasing pressure to reduce carbon emissions. For reference, the two-seater electric Pipistrel plane shown in the article takes about an hour to charge and gives a flight time of about 1 hour and a range of about 75 nautical miles. A subscription to Aerovolt’s service costs £36 per month, plus charging costs (currently £1 per kWh).

Whilst not on a level with electric cars, no doubt we will see increasing numbers of electric planes taking to our skies in the near future, and with advances in flight control systems powered at least in part by AI, perhaps we can start to contemplate flight without trained pilots. Innovation in control systems will be needed to handle the increasing amounts of air traffic, and, like any technical innovation, developers should combine that with a well thought out IP strategy. (Find out more in our recent AI report which can be found here.)

If owning an electric plane isn’t for you, according to this report the chance to travel in an electric flying taxi may not be that far off now.

Electric aviation startup Aerovolt has officially launched its charging network to the public, giving pilots access to charging infrastructure at several airfields across southern England.


artificial intelligence, energy & environment, mechanical engineering, transport