Electric plane almost ready to go on sale.
The Elektra One electric airplane goes on show at the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh this week. With a 26-kilowatt, 220 pound battery, the nearly silent plane can fly for about three hours or 250 miles.
The company sells the aircraft as a package with a solar-charging hangar, and is already planning the next generation aircraft: one with solar panels in the wings which will increase range by around 30% on a sunny day.
While the Elektra One is only single seater, the company plans for aircraft for up to six passengers in the near future, although larger electric passenger planes are at least two decades away, due to poor battery performance. “They are too heavy,” says a developer. “We need to improve the battery efficiency to go to the airliner step by a factor of 10. And the rate of improvement of the battery is 12 percent a year. So you can calculate how much time it will take.”
A complete system — solar-equipped plane combined with a solar charging hanger, will retail for around $145,000 and have an operating cost of less than $50 an hour.