First All-Electric Commercial Airplane Just Took its First Flight in Canada

The first fully electric flight took off near Vancouver, Canada on December 10th. The flight was piloted by Harbour Air, a company operating in the islands near Vancouver and builder of the new aircraft. The plane is a converted 62 year old DeHavilland Beaver, a small plane that is used for many working people and companies in the region and is known as the workhorse of the north.

The milestone shows that an electric fleet is possible in the future, while seemingly far off. Greg McDougall, the pilot operating the flight is quoted saying, “That was just like flying a Beaver but a Beaver on electric steroids.” Electric Planes could reduce operating costs by 50% to 80%.

Carbon emissions would be drastically reduced as well. The average roundtrip ticket from New York to Los Angeles generates nearly 700 kg CO2. This is more than the average person emits in nearly 50 countries. Island hoppers like this could be electric in the next few years, and further down the line in commercial passenger flights.