Electric power is the future. It is designed to overtake traditional dirty fossil fuels in a big way over the next decade or so. From the sleek electric cars of Tesla to he solar roofs that are popping up on houses all over the sunnier parts of the world, the electric industry has never been bigger. But what about airplanes?
In the modern age, flight is simply a fact of life. Everybody needs to get around somehow and if the destination is far and time is of the essence then there really are not any better alternatives. Nothing can compete with the efficiency of an airplane. It is therefore too bad that airplanes are themselves not very efficient when it comes to fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
Despite all of the optimism coming out of the current electric industry, the truth is that jet-fueled airplanes are not going to be replaced any time soon. In order for a viable alternative to take over, the new source of energy would have to be comparable in efficiency to jet fuel. The reality is that nothing can compare to jet fuel except rocket fuel, which is even worse for the environment.
Current electric vehicles make use of lithium-ion batteries. This is what powers everything from the cars of Tesla to the electric subways that make their way through the English countryside. Lithium-ion power has seen several advances within the last few years and has proven to be a viable competitor to gasoline. Even so, it is not without its downsides.
Unfortunately, lithium-ion batteries are not capable of storing enough energy to make them viable for use in airplanes. In order to get a large passenger airplane into the air, it would need to be carrying multiple batteries in order to travel even a short distance. In order to make the journeys that commercial airplanes frequently make across the world, too many batteries would be required. That is to say that the weight of all the necessary batteries would prevent the aircraft from even taking to the air.
There are always advancements to be made and new technologies are being discovered everyday. For the time being however the air travel industry will have to rely on quality engineering to reduce the emissions of the current technologies being used to power airplanes.