Air Canada Orders 30-Seat Electric Planes From Heart Aerospace
Air Canada took a step towards electric planes and cleaner air.
On Thursday Air Canada announced it had ordered 30 ES-30 electric aircraft from Heart Aerospace. In addition, Air Canada has acquired a $5 million ownership share in the Swedish manufacturer.
The plane, which is expected to enter service in 2028, will seat 30 passengers in a two-by-one arrangement and will be capable of flying up to 124 miles (200 kilometres) in all-electric mode.
The vehicles themselves are hybrid, which means they can go longer distances when supplemented by generators. Further, if capacity is limited to 25 people, the planes can fly 497 miles.
"Air Canada has taken a leadership position in the industry to address climate change. The introduction into our fleet of the ES-30 electric regional aircraft from Heart Aerospace will be a step forward to our goal of net zero emissions by 2050."
Michael Rousseau, Air Canada president and CEO
According to Air Canada, they are making this move to reduce carbon emissions. Along with this step, the company is also creating sustainable aviation fuel and a carbon-capture system.
Air Canada used sustainable aviation fuel obtained from the oil-refining business Neste on four flights from San Francisco to its Canadian hubs in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, and Montreal in April.
Air Canada is the second carrier in North America to place an order for Heart Aerospace's electric plane. United Airlines and its regional partner Mesa Airlines announced a purchase of 200 ES-19s (the 19-seater version of the jet) in July 2021. The aircraft is set to enter service in 2026, two years earlier than the ES-30.
Several other airlines have expressed interest in Heart Aerospace. Sounds Air in New Zealand announced it would have "at least three" ES-19s by 2026. According to AIN Online, Finnair, the Swedish carrier BRA, Norway's Widere, Air Greenland, Quebec's Pascan, California's Quantum Air, UK newcomer CityClipper, and Scandinavian Airlines have all signed letters of intent for the plane.
The interest in electric planes coincides with the industry's continued shift toward more environmentally friendly operations, with global airlines and aviation regulators aiming for net-zero emissions by 2050. United airlines made an order for 200 Embraer Eve electric vertical-takeoff and -landing aircraft on September 8, while American Airlines ordered Vertical Aerospace's VX4 eVTOL in July.
Thus far, Delta Airlines is the only major US airline to not invest in an electric aircraft.
Solving The Problem?
There are some inspiring aspects to this story for sure. There appears to be a desire to create change in a world where we have been over using hydrocarbons for fuel while ignoring other possibilities. Further, even without discussing CO2, clean air is an important thing. If we cna in fact burn less hydrocarbons, we'll have cleaner air.
But are we really making the difference required to fix our environmental woes? Are we suddenly seeing the destructive path we are on? Or will all of our decision making still be thwarted by market economics?
Those who have dove deeply into the subject of climate change see this very quickly: you cannot simply solve our climate woes by planting more trees or lowering CO2 emissions, as you are just looking at one TINY aspect to the puzzle. This direction won't truly help us solve the problems, it will only make us think we are doing that.
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Coming to these realizations over the last 10 years is what inspired Pulse founder Joe Martino to create a film that seeks to unite people. It's a film that doesn't argue about who's to blame, what the causes of climate change are and so forth, it's instead a film that looks at the core of the issue, and how we can actually create the changes that are needed at this time.
In short, the biggest challenge we face right now is that we live in a mindset and paradigm of disconnection and linear, mechanical thinking birthed from a system that incentivizes this type of thinking. This has led to the creation of a world culture that takes only individual parts of sacred things into consideration, and not the whole.
This thinking provides the experience of what it looks like to create from disconnected and destructive points of view. Shifting out of this thinking and state of being, into one of connection, is the challenge before us. When we do this, it will begin to reshape policy, choices, actions and creations that influence our world, way of living and how we relate to the earth.
Check out the film below.