Tesla is still hard at work on the production of electric cars, but Elon Musk is already thinking bigger. The eccentric Tesla maker is pondering the possibilities of electric airplanes.
Elon Musk is rarely at a loss for an answer, especially on Twitter. Musk responded to a question about electric airplanes by saying that there was still an issue of lack of battery capacity. However, this is likely to be over in the next five years, which could in principle make commercial operation of the e-planes possible. The energy density of a jet flying with kerosene cannot currently be achieved with rechargeable batteries. According to Musk, however, the weight advantage of electric motors and their energy efficiency are superior to current jet engines.
Yes, but still a bit too limited on range. That will change in coming years as battery energy density improves.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 29, 2019
All this already sounds like his consideration of electric planes is advanced. In fact, this is not the first time that Musk has dealt with airplanes. Several years ago he had already been working on a prototype for a vertical take-off and landing aircraft. These aircraft are referred to by the abbreviation VTOL, which stands for "Vertical Take-off and Landing". It is quite possible that the findings of SpaceX can help in the development. Elon Musk's other company developed rockets that are not electric, but can land upright again instead of falling into the sea uselessly.
Electric aircraft are already being developed
In general, however, it will take quite some time before electric planes are ready to take off. It's not only the difficulties with the battery technology which have to be solved, but also some other problems. In addition to Elon Musk, many other companies are already working on such projects, like the Lilium Jet in Germany.
How long do you think it'll take for us to fly in electric planes?