Why aren’t commercial aircraft using electric engines? Aviation is a huge carbon emission source after all.

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Why aren’t commercial aircraft using electric engines? Aviation is a huge carbon emission source after all.

In: Technology

The weight of batteries required to develop the required thrust makes it unviable at the moment

Batteries are heavy. An electric airliner isn’t really an option. They also need to fly frequently, landing to deliver passengers then turning around to take off with more, and recharging an aircraft for ages also won’t work.

Batteries would need to provide 800 watt hours per kilo to achieve flight with enough force. Batteries today are about 200-250. Compare that with jet fuel at about 12,000 watt hours per kilogram.

It’ll come, but not for some time.

Some companies are working on it. For example Heart Aerospace ([heartaerospace.com](https://heartaerospace.com)) recently raised money to do exactly that.

The energy density of hydrocarbon fuels is much greater than any battery technology we have (which is why electric cars weren’t very popular despite being developed around the same time as gas powered cars). This means planes can fly with less weight while using fuel than batteries, which means it even uses less energy overall.