On Friday the 30th of October 2020, we were lucky enough to be invited to the ElectricAir launch of New Zealand’s first 100% electric passenger plane at Christchurch Airport. There was quite the turnout with industry, media and local members of parliament all in attendance to get the first look at New Zealand’s first and only electric plane, the Pipistrel Alpha Electro!
ElectricAir is a Christchurch start-up, founded by Gary Freedman who is on a mission to clean up our skies. Electric planes are cleaner, quieter and cheaper to operate. ElectricAir believes New Zealand is a no brainer for electric planes, with one of the highest rates of short haul flights per person of any country in the world and an electricity grid powered from predominantly renewable sources.
“I was driving an electric car but flying a petrol plane. It just wasn’t good enough, so I set out to find a solution. On the pretence of a family holiday in Slovenia, I visited the Pipistrel factory and flew in the Alpha Electro. I was hooked and the rest is history,” Gary says. The Pipistrel Alpha Electro, a two seat aircraft, is designed for training and demonstration flights and has a flight duration of approximately one hour, plus 30 minutes reserve. Recharging the batteries takes around one hour. It cruises at 150kph with a top speed of 250kph.
If you’re interested in experiencing electric flight, get in touch with ElectricAir and get flying! https://www.electricair.nz/fly