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Eviation Alice Is a 9-Seat Electric Aircraft with 600 Miles Range Coming in 2018

Electric aviation is yet to take off, if you'll excuse my puny pun, and that's because the weight of the battery isn't exactly something that goes hand in hand with the physics of flight.
Eviation Alice electric light aircraft 1 photo
More to the point, it's all about energy density. The batteries used by arguably the world's current best EV maker, Tesla Inc., are somewhere around 250 to 300 Wh/kg. That means 1 kWh requires anywhere between 3.3 and 4 kilograms of battery.

If that's feasible for a road-going car, it poses a lot more challenges for something that's supposed to go up in the air and stay there for as long as possible. However, electric power is being considered, but most people went for the VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) aircraft solution.

Not Eviation (you see, I'm not the only on pulling puns around here). The company, which is a member of NASA's on-demand mobility program, has launched an electric light aircraft that, it is claimed, can cover a distance of 600 miles on a full charge (965 kilometers).

The Eviation Alice, as it's called, uses a 980 kWh Li-Ion battery pack and can reach speeds of up to 240 knots (444 km/h or 276 mph). It is 12 meters long (39.3') and has a wingspan of 13.5 meters (44.3') with a weight of 5,900 kg (13,000 lb) and a total power of 290 kW in cruise mode.

It can take up to nine passengers and two crew members, and the best thing about it is that it promises the ride comfort of a traditional jet, while also having zero emissions.

You've probably noticed by now that the Alice looks very much like a Reaper military drone. It has a unique design, and if this is what the light airplanes of the future look like, consider us on board.

Eviation wants to start the commercialization of Alice as soon as next year, even though that might be a little optimistical considering this was the first time the world has ever seen the prototype.

"At a time when we are more connected than ever, our mobility options must adapt to reflect this new, efficient future," said Omer Bar-Yohay, CEO of Eviation Aircraft. "Whether it is a zero emissions, low-cost trip from Silicon Valley to San Diego, or Seoul to Beijing, our all-electric aircraft represents a chance for people to move with the speed and impact our global economy now demands."


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