Assuming 300 mph. The first case gives you an effective range of 75 to 150 miles. Second case gives you 375 to 450 miles range. That's 3 to 5 times more effective range.
Go on google earth and start drawing 450 mile radius circles around population centers. Yeah that.
Bonus: Eviation is claiming an estimate of 650 miles range with their yet to fly Alice.
The two big advantages with electric flight are fuel costs and maintenance costs. For electric the fuel cost is a third to a quarter lower. And electric motors should have a much longer service life and lower maintenance needs than turbo props.
But yeah, to make a big carbon impact, electric planes would definitely need fast turnaround.
Most charter flights are just to fly to somewhere nearby, drop someone off, fly somewhere else pick someone else up, repeat. Often the destination is some small airport that doesn't have jet fuel (most charter aircraft are turboprops) so you need enough fuel for the return leg or you make a 30min detour to somewhere that does.
The hops are often small but you often need to do many of them back to back without a ton of downtime in between and usage patterns tend to be not well distributed (not much happens on a Tuesday but on a Friday every rich banker is trying to charter a flight to their house on Nantucket or wherever). It's basically the same usage pattern as an uber vehicle will see only the vehicle itself is a proportionately larger cost so you can't as easily just have more of them to make up for charging time (like some electric bus fleets do).
Charter flights are one of the last things I can see being electrified unless battery swaps become a thing because the charging time directly hits profitability.
I think that's a very generous assumption. Typical small engine light aircraft cruise at 70-120 knots (80-140 mph). Wikipedia suggests 211 mph as the current electric speed record (made in 2017). I doubt typical aircraft will be as optimised for speed as the one that holds the record. Increased speed causes exponentially increased aerodynamic drag, so if you want to increase range, slower speed [than your maximum speed] is the way to do it, not faster.
Or one option is that we normally don’t let li-ion batteries discharge completely to preserve battery life but that could still count toward your reserve with the right software.
Or I believe there are some existing one time use batteries that are way more entry dense than li-ion? Perhaps those could be part of the system just for emergency use and to meet reserve requirements.
We're not there yet to propel airplanes with batteries, not useful ones, anyway.
You don't have to outperform existing solutions to have a viable product. Price and other factors can easily swamp a particular performance stat. Different performance will lead to different use cases, but that is in no way the same as zero use cases.
But yep, it's not a solution for keeping our current flying habits. We will have to cut down on flying, a lot.
An electric plane flying 2000 km as opposed to 15 000 km would require an even larger proportion of their take of weight as batteries, and would thus not be able to carry a lot of passengers/cargo on such a relatively short flight. It will require a fundamental breakthrough to make passenger flights of that distance economically feasible.
> the world isn't going to end because you can't holiday in Bali
Perhaps not. But the Balinese economy would simply collapse. I’m sure the Balinese economy is of critical importance to the ~4 million people who live there. What you’ve chosen as a contrived example doesn’t even illustrate your point.
“But, what if tourism wasn’t critical to the Balinese economy, what if they had instead spend the last 50 years developing a different industry” you might say. Well, who knows. But they didn’t, and the criticality of air travel to Bali is not up for any meaningful debate.
Air travel is far too cheap, everything else follows from that.
Planes make Australia a lot more viable, since it’s such a huge sparsely populated island that even a lot of domestic travel is better in the air. Bali and Indonesia’s various small distributed islands are much more dense, but island hopping by boat alone is also slow and unsuited to a lot of economic development.
Countries like Australia and Indonesia would take huge hits if air travel was a lot more expensive, much more so than America.
> Air travel is far too cheap, everything else follows from that.
This is another outrageous claim. All aviation accounts for about 2% of global emissions.
The people commenting in this thread have chosen tourism, presumably because they think it’s the most frivolous source of aviation emissions. But even this is obviously critical to global economies. On top of that, the proposed solution amounts to complete economic isolationism. An idea I’m honestly surprised to see promoted on HN.
Suggesting that the world could possibly completely different from the way it actually is, and that the foundations of the global economy aren’t necessary isn’t suggesting a solution. It’s just utopian navel gazing.
This is what the IPCC is referring to when they say the climate impact is two to four times greater than from emissions alone.
This idea that all carbon emissions are terrible and must be eliminated is entirely counter productive, and entirely impossible.
We have left it too late, our only choice now is to do everything we can. There is plenty of air travel which is of marginal economic benefit that we can drop.
But in any case, that’s largely irrelevant to my point. This argument presupposes that the only way to prevent catastrophic man-made climate change is to put an end to air travel. That’s such an outrageous thing to claim that you can’t simply act like it’s something that’s obvious true, and that everybody should already believe.
We don't have to completely stop global air travel, but we have to make it significantly more expensive. The price to suck all the carbon out of the atmosphere again is not trivial. Long distance tourism will suffer from this.
But that aside, all aviation accounts for about 2% of global emissions, with tourism only being a portions of that. What is your basis for claiming that the only way to avoid catastrophic man-made climate change is to significantly reduce air travel? There are so many more ways to reduce emissions, with much higher ROIs, and much less economic impact. Electricity generation and land transport are so much easier to make renewable. The idea that the future of the world depends on reducing air travel is simply laughable.
Combined with the fact that the global warming pie is made up of many small slices makes it one of the most significant slices of the pie.
Which significant slice of the pie is it on this graph ? It’s a tiny slither of the transport one. Most of that graph is just electricity generation split into different categories.
We have to make compromises, unless we prefer to lose the global warming battle. Humanity's benefits from cheap air travel are much less than losses from unchecked climate change.
1. Create a competing product that people prefer over air travel.
2. Artificially increase the price through taxation.
3. Artificially decrease supply through regulation.
There’s nothing on the horizon for option 1, and since we live in a democracy, democratic mechanisms are the only means you have for 2 or 3, unless you wanted to resort to something like terrorism.
Your presupposition that we can’t have cheap air travel while avoiding catastrophic man-made climate change is in no way obviously true, and your suggested solution is a utopian fantasy.
Not sure what you mean, globally there are no reductions in emissions. And you would have to phase out a lot more than just air travel. Personal cars too and overall reduce consumption like ten fold or more, basically destroy this whole capitalism-driven consumerist way of life.
This anti-capitalism stuff seems completely irrelevant too. Every economy is based on consumption, even socialist ones. The only reason the USSR didn’t have as many car owners as the USA is because their economy was in a permanent state of crisis. Market forces don’t go away when you implement socialism.
> Every economy is based on consumption
I'm talking about buying a tesla level of consumerism, that's not everyone in every economy, but relatively few and they are part of the problem, not part of the solution.
Norway is sparsely populated and it has been a strategy for decades to have small airports everywhere out in the boonies.
Most flights are operated by twin-engined turboprops seating 20-80 passengers, in part doing short flights between islands in the north - an excellent use case for electrical planes.
The big question is whether one can recharge them fast enough - by swapping battery packs if need be. No airline is interested in replacing 50 turboprops with 100 electro planes to serve the same routes.
Reduced weight will also help in increase in speed.
But, the study mentions unused lithium trapped in the battery, so if a solution if found to make that useful, the only costs increase would be to recover the R&D costs.
If any new new chemistry is used to solve the problem with very expensive elements, it could be a problem, but I don't think the scientists will stop at it if they find an expensive solution.
Isn’t the electrolyte where the energy is actually stored?
(For one thing, the surface area of contact between the electrodes and electrolyte is a limiting factor for how fast the reaction can proceed, and therefore how much current the battery can produce.)
In a lithium-ion battery, the cathode and anode are typically constructed out of many stacked layers, separated only by a very thin layer of electrolyte.
I think where you're coming from is likely something like this Lithium battery steals the press thunder from the Iron ion battery. It's likely the Lithium battery will be used in portable, vehicle applications and if it actually has any benefit the Iron would could be used to store surplus electricity for the grid.
Iron might be the future for some energy storage applications (e.g. home batteries) but can't compete for other applications (e.g. Automotive).