An illustration shows the Zunum Aero 12-seater hybrid jet flying through clouds.

Photo-illustration: Zunum Aero

Electric Jets to Reduce Carbon Footprint

The enormous cost of jet fuel is apparent with each purchase of a ticket for flight. Carbon emissions, too, have a tremendous negative impact. Aviation produces about 2 percent of the world’s carbon emissions—though this seems to have less interest to regulators who make the EPA guidelines. Zunum Areo proposes to expand consumer’s options with electric jets to reduce the carbon footprint, along with reducing noise.

Forbes magazine called the company “the Tesla of aerospace.”

Zunum sees itself filling the small markets for commuters with huge price reductions in the cost of flights. It proposes, for instance, a flight from L.A. to Tahoe for an afternoon of skiing with a roundtrip price of $100 price per ticket.

“Zunum’s airplane design has a “series hybrid” powertrain: propulsion is electric, with only an electric motor powering the drivetrain, but the engine extends the battery’s range by generating power for the motor. Most hybrid electric cars, by contrast, use parallel hybrid or series-parallel hybrid powertrains.”

So hybrid cars, move over, or at least look up. Hybrid jets are here and coming in greater numbers every year. Zunum’s hybrid bird is certainly not the only one for sale on the market today. Right now Europes budget airline called EasyJet is developing a 180-seat electric jet that could be in the skies as early as 2027. A Sloveinian called Pipistrel, is manufacturing a comercial training aircraft powered with electricity and has been doing so since 2015.

The Crowded Skies Will Become The Quiet Skies