Eviation Sells Up To 50 Electric Commuter Aircraft To German Startup

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German startup flyVbird signed a letter of intent (LOI) for the purchase of 25 of Eviation’s Alice all-electric aircraft with options to buy 25 more.

Alice, now valued at more than $5 billion, first debuted at the 2019 Paris Air Show. It is the world’s first flight-tested all-electric commuter aircraft. According to Eviation, the nine-passenger regional aircraft produces zero emissions and has significantly lower operating costs per hour compared to light jets or regional turboprops.

The Oct. 16 deal with flyVbird marks Eviation’s fifth announced order this year, which also includes partnerships with MONTE, Aerus, Aerolease and Solyu.

In a statement, flyVbird said once it obtains an Air Operator Certificate, it will utilize Alice for decentralized and sustainable travel across Europe, connecting unconnected or underserved communities worldwide and delivering carbon-free, cost-effective, and convenient air travel.” The regional carrier notes its operation is focused on enhancing connectivity in rural areas where it will use smaller, more accessible airports.

Vice President of Commercial Sales at Eviation, Eddie Jaisaree, said, “The European Union is moving forward with ambitious new rules aimed at decarbonizing the aviation industry. The Alice is the innovative and beautifully designed aircraft needed to lead aerospace’s transition to net zero carbon emissions. We are very pleased to partner with flyVbird in the future of flight.”

Amelia Walsh
Amelia Walsh is a private pilot who enjoys flying her family’s Columbia 350. She is based in Colorado and loves all things outdoors including skiing, hiking, and camping.

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23 COMMENTS

  1. Until its certified, flying and in production, a LOI to buy “future” aircraft is worth the same as a roll of TP.

    • Even if it worked as advertised, who is going to buy a brand new 14MM plane that barely works over a proven 4MM plane with far more utility like a PC-12? No bank will finance that purchase.

  2. Zero emissions is not likely. The energy to create the batteries alone is massive, and likely made in China where the electricity comes from coal plants, or recycling them, if that’s even possible in some countries. Add to that the electricity for recharging of the batteries will likely come from coal, natural gas, or a legacy nuclear power plant. There’s the pollution from graphite and other rare earth materials dust released into the atmosphere mining the materials for the batteries. Then there is the materials to build the rest of the; airframe, electronics, interior, etc., much of which come from oil.
    I don’t see an expected range for the aircraft, it’s likely not a great distance.

  3. From the future Flight web site:

    “Eviation displayed its first full-scale prototype of the aircraft at the Paris Air Show in 2019 before shipping it to Prescott, Arizona, where the company intended to begin flight testing before the end of 2019

    After several further delays, the Alice made its first flight on September 27, 2022. Eviation said that is now targeting a VFR (daytime) range of 250 nm (down from the 440 nm previously stated). It has also pushed back the projected service entry date to 2027.”

    Nice to see folks thinking big bit it seems like a they have a habit of overpromising and underdelivering…..

    • “Overpromising” is an understatement. The cat’s outta’ the bag on everything “e-“. Auto manufacturers are learning this lesson the hard way with acres of parked “e-cars” no one wants.

      Europe has been on a “net zero carbon emissions” binge for a long time, but that won’t happen in any meaningful way until technology moves a lot further forward from where it is now. Not only that, but alternative energy zealots always avoid discussing the resources required to manufacture their pet e-whats-it and those required for disposal.

      My prediction is that if this thing ever does get off the ground, pun intended, it won’t stay there very long.

  4. A planned 18,500lb gross takeoff with a 2500lb payload capacity, before certification, to go 250nm. I have a hard time seeing this work economically, even if all the technology does.

  5. Of all the electric aircraft projects out there the Alice has the biggest bullshit to investment ratio. I’ve spoken to other electric aircraft designers who just shake their heads at how Eviation still manages to fleece investors.

  6. I hope they can deliver. Then the hype is over and we can finally get an honest bead on cost, performance and safety. Bing the first they had better be outstanding in all 3 because any news footage of one self-combusting in a hangar would also end their competitors.

  7. All of these previously unserved airports best have quick recharge facilities, because 250 NM worth of juice will be used up pretty quick. I didn’t see a speed. It looks clean, maybe 200kts. That only gives it 1+25 hrs of electricity on board. Even if I’m wrong on speed, still not very practical with any reserve for the unusual.

    • When I get down to an hour or less of fuel remaining, I start worrying unless I know exactly where I am and have alternates. Also, they better have a big 18 wheeler with a huge generator on board in case this thing has to land someplace where recharging facilties aren’t available.

      BS to investment ratio … that’s good !! 🙂 I’ll see it when I believe it.

  8. I agree with Mark V – zero emissions is only zero if your starting point is somewhere in the middle of the equation. Electrons may be free but gathering them is not. It is like for years the power companies said “use electric heat – 100% efficient!” It is, at the point of conversion. But start at raw generation and it ends up about 35% or so, which is why it costs 3x as much to heat with resistance heat. Again, as Granny used to say, “Figures don’t lie, but liars figure!”

  9. So e-vtol craft have this problem even more but this aircraft has a 250 nm vfr range, so 30 minute reserve. But I imagine this will almost always fly IFR for scheduled routes, and I wouldn’t want to plan for minimum reserve. I’d want at least an hour. Given it’s “max operating” speed of 260, do we assume normal cruise is around 220? If so the range of the aircraft is cut almost in half if you have an hour reserve. So a realistic commercial range is more like 180 nm. Then how long to charge for the next flight? What will customers pay for this rather than drive? How will you pay off a $14 million aircraft with this mission profile?

  10. Flight #2 will happen as soon as Alice’s office staff is finished counting the $5 BILLION the company is supposed to be worth. That takes time…

  11. I wish all parties much success. But it seems to me, a little tongue-in-cheek, that an airline that does not exist has non-bindingly stated that it will buy an aircraft that does not exist, to use on routes that do not exist.

    • Remember, we now live in a society where the rule is that if you believe something it becomes fact. Physical reality is no longer a constraint.

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