Israeli company Eviation has announced it will be seeking approval from CASA to fly ‘Alice’, its electric plane, in Australia. The nine-seater, all-electric aircraft will be powered by a 900 kWh battery and is aiming for a 1,000 kms range. Eviation plans to build and conduct its first flight in the US later this year at its new production facility in Prescott, Arizona.
In the US, Eviation is applying not only for approval for commuter travel through the FAA, but also on-demand travel, opening up the possibility of an “Uber-like” form of air travel. Of course, the large distance between regional centres in Australia might also provide a huge opportunity for the all-electric aircraft.
“Our vision is to provide commuters and travellers a sustainable, quiet ride at a price point that makes this transportation option accessible to a wide array of people. Alice represents a new class – air mobility – that is changing how people travel and will make a 800-mile trip possible for roughly the price of a bus ride,” says Eviation.
Certification from design to flight testing is an arduous and convoluted process so ‘Alice’ might not appear in Australian skies any time soon although the company plans to begin pre-selling the aircraft as soon as 2020.
If they are successful, ‘Alice’ would join Australia’s first type-certified electric plane, the Slovenian manufactured Pipistrel Alpha Electric which has been zipping around Downunder since January last year.