Startup Wants To Fly Commercial Electric Planes Up To 300 Miles Within The Next Decade

Photo credit Wright Electric
Photo credit Wright Electric

The electric car market is just now coming into focus, particularly bolstered by the new Chevrolet Bolt and its 200-mile-plus range. But what about electric planes? A start-up wants to build a commercial passenger electrified jet that can easily handle up to a 300 mile trip. Of course, that goal is contingent on battery tech continuing to develop at a rapid clip.


Wright Electric pitched the idea at this year’s Y Combinator Demo Day, a thing where “prestigious” startups lay out their vision before investors. The company said it’s building a 150-seat plane, with the intention of situating it in the 737-size jet market.

The company’s already landed a partner in British airliner EasyJet, according to the BBC, which said Wright Electric’s hope is to send one of its planes from London to Paris in 10 years:

However, significant hurdles need to be overcome if Wright Electric is to make the Wright One, pictured above, a reality.

The company is relying heavily on innovation in battery technology continuing to improve at its current rate. If not, the firm will not be able to build in enough power to give the plane the range it needs.

Wright Electric isn’t alone, either. Airbus has been cooking up plans for a silent, electric plane since 2014, with the goal of potentially bringing a 90-seater to the market in the future.

A cleaner flight without the need for fuel makes for a massive pitch, one that could revolutionize the airline industry, but a commercial jet of this size is a huge undertaking, given the technology is still a ways off.

Still, it’s interesting to see the ambition for this happening in tandem with a push among some automakers to produce more efficient electric vehicles.

Senior Reporter, Jalopnik/Special Projects Desk


son of a motherless goat (PSA: wash your hooves)

Hmm. If it takes a Tesla 8 hours to fully recharge, how long would it take an airliner? This is the part where you remind me that this is all contingent upon a revolution in battery technology.