Rolls-Royce says its electric plane has a top speed of 387 mph

Rolls-Royce’s all-electric spirit of innovation takes to the skies for the first time.

Credit: Rolls-Royce.

Rolls-Royce said on Friday that its electric plane reached a top speed of 623 kilometers per hour (just over 387 mph), with the company saying that this made the plane “the fastest all-electric vehicle in the world.”

A statement from Rolls-Royce – not to be confused with BMW-owned Rolls-Royce Motor Cars – said it believed the so-called “Spirit of Innovation” was “the fastest all-electric aircraft on the planet.”

To this end, he will submit three world record applications to the International Aeronautical Federation. These are: an aircraft with a maximum speed of 555.9 km / h at a distance of more than 3 kilometers; reaching 532.1 km / h at a distance of 15 kilometers; and climbing 3000 meters in 202 seconds.

It was during these launches that the aircraft recorded a maximum speed of 623 kilometers per hour.

The “spirit of innovation” is the result of a project called ACCEL, or Accelerating the Electrification of Flight.

Partners in this initiative are YASA, which specializes in electric motors and controllers, and Electroflight, which Rolls-Royce has described as an aviation startup. YASA is a wholly owned subsidiary of Mercedes-Benz.

In terms of funding, 50% came from the Institute of Aerospace Technology in partnership with the UK Government’s Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and Innovate UK.

Rolls-Royce said the aircraft uses a 400-kilowatt electric propulsion system and “the most powerful power battery ever assembled in the aerospace industry.” It completed its maiden flight in September, flying over the UK for about 15 minutes.

As concerns about sustainability and the environment intensify – WWF describes air travel as “the most carbon-intensive activity that humans can do” – discussions around aviation increasingly focus on how innovation and ideas can reduce its environmental impact.

Over the past several years, a number of companies have sought to develop plans and concepts for low and zero emissions aviation.

For example, in September last year, a hydrogen fuel cell aircraft capable of carrying passengers took to the skies over England and made its maiden flight.

In the same month, Airbus unveiled details of three hydrogen-fueled concept aircraft, with the European aerospace giant saying they could be operational by 2035.

In a recent CNBC interview with Steve Sedgwick, Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary was wary when it came to the prospects for new and emerging technologies in the sector.

Learn more about electric vehicles from CNBC Pro

“I think … we have to be honest again,” he said on October 20. to replace … carbon, jet aircraft. “

“I don’t see the emergence of … hydrogen fuel, I don’t see the emergence of environmentally friendly fuels, I don’t see the emergence of electric power plants, and certainly not before 2030,” he added.

“This will be so after my career in the aviation industry is over … but I hope it will happen before the end of our mortal lives.”

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