Harbour Air will soon get what it claims is the world’s first electric seaplane.
The Richmond-based airline announced Tuesday it’s working with an electric aviation company in Washington state to modify its fleet with a 750-horsepower electric motor.
These “ePlanes” don’t use fossil fuels or produce emissions.
The company says the aviation industry is responsible for 12 per cent of all U.S. carbon emissions – 4.9 per cent globally.
“In 2018, 75 per cent of worldwide airline flights were 1,000 miles or less in range,” said Roei Ganzarski, CEO of the aviation company MagniX. “We see tremendous potential for electric aviation to transform this heavily trafficked ‘middle mile’ range.”
Harbour Air, which flies to the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, Whistler, Seattle and the Sunshine Coast, become the first airline in North America to go carbon-neutral by buying carbon offsets in 2007.
The first of its planes to get the upgrade will be a six-passenger DHC-2 de Havilland Beaver. The company plans to conduct its first flight tests of all-electric aircraft later this year.