easyJet targets electric passenger planes

British budget airline easyJet says it seeks to introduce electric passenger planes within a decade to reduce emissions.

The company said on Wednesday that it will use the planes on routes of up to 540 kilometers, such as flights between London and Paris.

A video released by easyJet shows a plane equipped with electric propulsion systems on both wings and large battery packs under the cabin. The firm says the plane will have a capacity of about 180 people.

easyJet says it is partnering with a US venture company that is developing an electric propeller propulsion system. The airline says electric aircraft will emit no carbon dioxide and produce much less noise than conventional models.

easyJet’s PR official says a growing number of passengers are paying attention to CO2 emissions from aircraft and that they will choose electric jets for their journeys.

The official adds that competition to become the first developer of electric planes is underway among aircraft manufacturers. They include leading US and French aerospace firms.

Challenges in developing electric jets include coming up with high-performance batteries that will allow several hours of flight.

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