Harbour Air tests worlds first commercial electric aircraft

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Watch We've seen the evolution of electric cars, and fans of the technology may soon be able to cast their eyes to the skye. a local aviation company made History this morning as the first ever all-electric commercial plane took flight.

Harbour Air has successfully completed a test flight of the worlds first commercial all-electric aircraft.

On Tuesday the company flew their new Beaver seaplane in Richmond, outfitted with a 750 horsepower propulsion system made by Seattle-based magniX.

The electric aircraft took off around 8:30 a.m., the magniX team cheered from the shore.

“It was a like a beaver on electric steroids,” said Harbour Air CEO Greg McDougall

“What were doing is truly creating and starting a revolution in aviation and that has to be shared with everybody, it’s not about us doing it in secret in the background and hoping it works and if it does telling you it happened yesterday,” added MagniX CEO Roei Ganzarski.

The all-electric aircraft taxing on the water (Harbour Air)

Harbour Air hopes to have the e-planes certified for commercial use in two years.

The flight was slated for Wednesday, but Harbour Air said due to rapidly changing weather they changed the time.

The seaplane company announced earlier this year that it would partner with MagniX, an electric aviation company based in Washington state, to become the first all-electric airline. The goal is to eventually convert the entire fleet.

Ganzarski said earlier this year technology has not advanced enough to make electric planes a possibility for long-haul flights as the batteries required would be too heavy, so that’s what makes Harbour Air an appropriate partner.

McDougall said adding a battery to the plane will reduce the capacity for passengers, but the company believes with battery innovation, costs will go down in the longer term.

Harbour Air operates 30,000 flights each year on 12 routes between Seattle, Vancouver, Victoria and other destinations in those areas.

Julian KolsutJulian Kolsut

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