Norway Aims to Use 100% Electric Planes for Short-haul Flights by 2040

Norway, already the champion of the electric car, now wants to electric power for all its short-haul flights by 2040.

Norway Electric Short-haul Flights 2040

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Last year in Norway, thanks to tax incentives and developed infrastructure, more than 50% of newly registered vehicles were either electric or plug-in hybrids. If the country has clearly stated its intentions regarding its car fleet, it is now attacking a much bigger fish. The nordic nation aims to have all its flights electric by 2040.

Every time a plane takes off, the amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere increases. Air transport is responsible for about 2 to 3% of global carbon emissions, a number that is expected to double in the next decade. The contribution is such that some experts even suggest that the best way to reduce carbon footprint is to completely stop flying. Norway is therefore considering another option. Dag Falk-Petersen, General Manager of Avinor, a state-owned airline and national airport operator, has just announced the news.

The goal is ambitious, but Norway has already proven itself in this area. The country is today recording more electric cars than any other nation in the world. With this last objective, the Norwegian authorities are standing out once again, hoping to prove that it is also possible to reduce emissions from air transport. If Norway manages to run all its short-haul flights with electricity, it will simply be the first country to do so.

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“We think that all flights lasting up to 1.5 hours can be flown by aircraft that are entirely electric,” says Dag Falk-Petersen to The Guardian. “When we will have reached our goal, air travel will no longer be a problem for the climate, it will be a solution,” he adds.

Current battery technology, however, can not yet completely replace jet fuels since they simply do not have the same energy density. This is why many airlines prefer to look — for now — on hybrid models for longer flights. But the technology is still in its infancy, and everything can go very quickly in this area. In addition to reducing carbon emissions, all these efforts could also reduce noise pollution and operating costs by half.

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Carl Frantz

Polyglot, humanitarian, Carl was born in Germany but raised in the USA. He writes mostly on tech, science and culture.