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100% electric eVTOLs versus hybrid models

Since all eVTOLs currently under development on the planet are 100% electric and electricity is, in most countries, a greener energy, then why the discussion about hybrid models? The answer lies in the autonomy and the distances to be covered. With current battery and electric motor technologies, these aircraft are limited to a flight range of about 45 minutes before recharging (including landing, take-off, and safety reserve), or about 150 to 180 km.

When we talk about hybrid models for eVTOLs, we are talking about aircraft whose propulsion motors are electric, but which have a thermal engine on board to power the batteries (in the form of a generator). These aircraft must be able to land and take off without the thermal engine to avoid the presence of fuel at the vertiports on the roof of the buildings. Depending on the payload (current Jaunt Journey data), the heat engine will only operate in flight to provide the aircraft with the ability to fly distances up to 500km.

As VERTIKO wishes to establish a pan-Quebec network (a territory that can be described as vast) it will be inevitable that the fleet will include a certain number of hybrid models to service the longest links. It is also important to understand that the payload of the hybrid models can go up to 1500kg and, in terms of space, can accommodate three conventional transport pallets.

Hybrid models exist only for a transitional period but allow the development of new electric technologies for the future while meeting current needs.

As has happened in the automotive market, battery and electric motor technologies allow for greater autonomies as time goes by. Even if we use so-called "green" fuels to power an aircraft, the reality remains that these engines emit greenhouse gases. In this sense, hydrogen is increasingly being considered as an alternative energy source.

These models still represent an environmental advantage over the status quo for two reasons:

  • The air taxi concept encourages carpooling (given the costs). One trip in a hybrid air taxi could replace up to six car trips.

  • The fact that eVTOLs take to the air frees up space on city roads and streets, which in turn should decrease the overall greenhouse gas emissions time of all cars in the area where air cabs operate.

In the end, electric or hybrid, eVTOLs will have a positive impact on the environment, but above all will offer more time to those who are looking for it... time lost in traffic!

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