Harbour Air announces plan to go fully electric
Departure is still a long way off, but Harbour Air announced plans Tuesday to convert its entire fleet into electric seaplanes.
The company is working with magniX of Seattle to re-fit its plane with 750 horsepower electric motors.
Harbour Air founder Greg McDougall said trips would be quieter and potentially faster.
"From a performance point of view it will be outstanding," he said.
Passenger would also no longer smell fuel before and during flights.
McDougall calls the conversion “a no brainer,” because the economic benefits far exceed the cost of the re-fit.
The team will begin testing a DHC-2 de Havilland Beaver in November and then go through the regulatory process.
Roei Ganzarski, CEO of magniX, says fuel tanks will be removed and replaced with the equivalent of one ton of batteries.
"If you look at these aircraft, they carry about 2000 lbs. of fuel, and so all we’re doing is replacing the weight of that fuel, with the weight of the battery," he said.
Ganzarski figures the re-fitted planes would be able to travel about 150 kilometres, so for now longer flights to Seattle would still run on traditional engines.
The team hopes to have passengers on electric seaplanes to cities like Victoria and Nanaimo by 2021 or 2022.