Airline Plans Electric Passenger Flights In 2026


Norwegian airline Wideroe says it will offer scheduled service using electric aircraft by 2026 and expects to be emissions-free on all domestic flights by 2040. The airline is working with Rolls-Royce and Tecnam to put the 11-seat P-volt to work on the numerous short-hop routes it flies in the rugged country. “Norway’s extensive network of short take-off and landing airports is ideal for zero emissions technologies,” Wideroe CEO Stein Nilsen told “This aircraft shows how quickly new technology can and will be developed, and that we are on track with our ambition of flying with zero emissions around 2025.”

The P-volt is based on Tecnam’s P-2012 commuter airliner, which is powered by Lycoming TEO-540 engines. The P-volt is fully electric, including propulsion, heating, air conditioning and anti-ice systems and is designed for full power availability on quick turnarounds with its “dedicated battery technology.” The plane will also have lower operating costs and make a lot less noise than the piston alternatives. Tecnam hasn’t released specs for the P-volt but the piston version cruises at about 180 knots and stalls at 68 knots and is designed for short field operation. Many of Wideroe’s routes are 30 minutes or less of flight time and some are less than 10 minutes.

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.

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  1. Um, yes, recharging is a question.

    Many airports in Arctic areas are remote and sparsely equipped.

    And note heating in Norwegian winters will take more energy.

    Well, they get PR anyway. (And Cape Air should watch out for US gummint push to electrify its Tecnams.)

  2. But diesel gensets work, if you fly fuel in for them. :-o)

    (In rugged terrain, which Norway has much of, airports are often not near the settlement.)

  3. Let’s see now – we must ship LIOn batteries by ground because they can combust in vehicles. But we are using them to power our flight. Is this a contradiction of sense? Ever see a cell pact short and avalanche to destruction? Watch YouTube vids on eVolt or Tesla.

  4. I can see a way this battery powered airplane makes sense.

    Because of the weight and energy density limitations of the batteries, combined with the mission parameters, climate, safety, and performance and refueling/recharging needs it will also need a combustion powerplant to supplement the electric drivetrain.

    Then, because of the added weight and complexity that would entail, the electric components should then be deleted.

    Bingo. Just like that you have the right power delivery system for the plane, exactly like it was before it was ‘improved’.

    A Tecnam P-2012 commuter airliner.

  5. Here in Minnesota (ALSO populated with a lot of people with Norwegian heritage) the Governor wants the State to adopt California-like car mandates for all-electric. One of the major magazines did an article on it–not only pointing out that the batteries don’t function well at minus 40 degrees–but that they don’t deliver range between far-flung towns. There’s also that performance-killing issue of providing HEAT in cold climates from those same batteries.

    I can envision it already–“NORSKE AIR is cleared on a 150 mile flight in January–has to hold at the destination due to non-radar environment–misses the approach, and has to go to the alternate 150 miles away. First item on the “divert” checklist? TURN OFF PASSENGER HEAT–then “ALL EXCESS RADIOS”–then finally, the decision–“Do I turn off the electric de-icing?”

    Let’s face it–nothing short of nuclear power has the energy density of our aircraft fuels–perhaps the “electric aircraft” proponents can propose a nuclear-powered aircraft? (Hint–even the “proof of concept” B-36 couldn’t pull that one off–but they can DREAM!) Perhaps their neighbor in Sweden, Greta Thunberg, can give them a hand–after all, she is hailed as a climate “expert” while in her teens.

    What IS IT with “one-size-fits-all” government? What works in the SOUTH may not work in the NORTH–what works in URBAN areas may suffer lack of range in SPARSELY-SETTLED areas–what works in CARS may not work in AIRPLANES. Let’s just use the right tools for the job.

    • I would think the quick draw on the batteries needed to lift the plane would provide heat. Is that not so?

  6. Not enough to keep the cabin warm in winter–or at altitude-or northern latitudes Look at battery life on a Tesla in the winter.

    • Thanks, I was wondering if it would create excess, but there’s got to be enough to help keep the packs themselves warm. I suppose you could run a heater, but that’s more energy burn.