OSLO: Norway announced on Thursday that it plans buy electric planes. The country plans to purchase electric passenger planes in the coming years to help fight climate change.
Avinor, the state firm that runs 45 airports in Norway, said its commitment to purchase electric planes may encourage the development of hybrid and electric technologies by major aviation companies, like Boeing and Airbus.
“Airbus told us they need a customer and they need a market – and we can offer them both,” said Dag Falk-Pederson, head of Avinor. “Of course they need a bigger market and more customers. But someone has to start.”
The Norwegian government told Avinar to promote the use of biofuels and begin making the shift to commercial electric planes. The goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help slow the effects of climate change.
Official statistics show that domestic air transport in Norway accounts for 2.4% of greenhouse gas emissions in the country. That figure more than doubles when international routes are included.
Falk-Peterson also noted that electric planes will reduce noise levels and lower the costs of operation.
Before reaching a point where Norway uses fully electric planes, it will need to use intermediary technologies, according to Falk-Peterson. These technologies include hybrid fuel-electric solutions as well as biofuels.
Airbus is currently working on a hybrid model after signing a partnership with Siemens and Rolls Royce. The plane’s first flight is planned for 2020.