On Tuesday, United Airlines announced plans to purchase 100 electric planes as part of an effort to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. The airline’s venture fund announced that it invested in electric aircraft startup Heart Aerospace while conditionally agreeing to purchase 100 of the company’s ES-19 aircraft. The ES-19 is a 19-seat electric aircraft with the capability of flying customers up to 250 miles before the end of the decade. The acquisition will also help United in “deepening its bold commitment” to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 100% by 2050.
Michael Leskinen, president of United Airlines Ventures, said: “Breakthrough Energy Ventures is the leading voice of investors who are supporting clean-energy technology creation. We share the view that we have to build companies who have real potential to change how industries operate and, in our case, that means investing in companies like Heart Aerospace who are developing a viable electric airliner.”
United said that the ES-19 will have “zero operational emissions” by utilizing electric motors instead of jet engines and batteries instead of jet fuel. It will also be able to operate on more than 100 of United’s regional routes and out of most of its hubs including Chicago O’Hare International Airport to Purdue University Airport and San Francisco International Airport to Modesto City-County Airport.
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