Elektra One EV Plane Adds Solar Panels, Doubles Range

Electric cars may be struggling to find a home, but EV’s are making remarkable progress in the unlikeliest of places; aviation. Last summer we brought you the story of the Elektra One, an all-electric airplane a range of about 300 miles. Well the brilliant minds behind the Elektra One are back with a new version that sports twice the range of the original.

The brainchild of Solar World and PC-Aero, the Elektra One is made from a high-tech composite material. The entire plane weighs in at just 400 pounds, and has a maximum weight limit of 220 pounds. With a pilot on board, the new version of the Elektra One can travel just over 600 miles on a charge thanks to the addition of wing-mounted solar panels, which provide a trickle charge to the batteries.

This extended range actually makes the Elektra One quite viable as a puddle jumper for private use. Yes, the single-passenger cabin and light payload make it rather impractical as much more than a hobby or toy right now…but give it a few years. At $145,000, the price is still half that of most amateur “hobby” planes.

The most popular airplane in the world, the Cessna 172, has a flying range of about 600 nautical miles (depending on a wide variety of factors from wind speed to fuel tank size), and if the Elektra One can add a few more seats and a bit more payload capacity…well, have you seen the price of gasoline these days? It only costs more if you’re filling up an airplane. The Elektra One could become the Cessna 172 of electric aviation one day.

Any amateur pilots want to chime in on this electric aviation pioneer? Would you ever take an electric plane into the air?

Source: Inhabitat

Christopher DeMorro

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.