British Airways has invested in ZeroAvia – a leading innovator in decarbonising commercial aviation – in an effort to accelerate the development of 50+ seater aircraft capable of running on zero emissions hydrogen-electric power.
Other backers include Horizons Ventures, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Ecosystem Integrity Fund, Summa Equity, Shell Ventures, and SYSTEMIQ.
ZeroAvia says it could achieve commercialisation for its hydrogen-electric power as early as 2024, with flights of up to 500-miles in up to 20-seater aircraft. With this new investment, ZeroAvia expects to have 50+ seat commercial aircraft in operation in five years’ time and it accelerates the company’s vision of powering a 100-seat single-aisle aircraft by 2030.
This new investment reflects the importance British Airways is placing on sustainability and supports the airline’s commitment to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 through a series of short-, medium- and long-term initiatives. In addition to exploring and investing in the growth of these new longer-term technologies, the airline is also investing in the development of sustainable aviation fuels, flying more fuel-efficient aircraft and exploring the use of carbon capture technology.
In September 2020, ZeroAvia achieved the world's first hydrogen-electric flight of a commercial-grade aircraft. Additionally, the company just completed a ground simulation of the complete power profile for its upcoming first cross-country flight. The ground test demonstrated a full battery shutdown in-flight using the company's unique fuel cell powertrain configuration, allowing for complete removal of the battery system in the next configuration of the powertrain.
British Airways’ investment in ZeroAvia follows a recent partnership between the two companies announced at the end of last year.
See BTN 14 December 2020 BA and Hydrogen-powered aircraft