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Can We Pretend that Airplanes in the Night Sky are Hydrogen Powered?

ZeroAvia is a company that is currently developing hydrogen-electric powered airplanes, hopefully to replace the current planes that are powered from fossil fuels. Just recently the company received money from big investors including Amazon, Shell, and Bill Gates. In addition, the UK government also contributed to the company as well as British Airways. In less than a week, the company received $37.7 million from funding.

The CEO of ZeroAvia, Val Miftakhov, stated that “both aviation and the financial markets are waking up to the idea that hydrogen is the only meaningful path towards large-scale, zero-emission commercial flight.” It’s no surprise that airlines right now are producing large amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) and are a big contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Airlines are pressured to tackle these issues that contribute to climate change and global warming. It is predicted that hydrogen fuel is one of the ways to decarbonize air transport as well as reducing airplane’s carbon emissions by about 50%. ZeroAvia made their first hydrogen-powered flight in September, a six-seat plane took off in Cranfield, England, flying for about 15 minutes before landing.

ZeroAvia plans on commercializing its technology around the year 2023 with flights lasting up to 500 miles and aircrafts seating 20 people. Within the next 10 years, the company plans to make aircrafts flights over 1,000 miles and seat more than 100 people. According to Amazon’s vice president Kara Hurst “ZeroAvia’s zero-emission aviation powertrain has real potential to help decarbonize the aviation sector, and we hope this investment will further accelerate the pace of innovation to enable zero-emission air transport at scale.” The Climate Pledge Fund set up ZeroAvia and other companies to achieve the zero carbon emissions goal by 2040. In order to reach this goal, Amazon too will begin to use electric vans to make its deliveries in the upcoming year.


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