Centuries after Benjamin Franklin first discovered electricity in his kite experiments, electric vehicles are giving consumers and businesses new ways to fly.
Whether inland or on the open sea, commuters, treehuggers and adrenaline seekers are leaning towards ways to save fuel and love the planet. Elon Musk may have spearheaded the development of electric cars (without leaving an impressive design add-on), but other innovators have powered it up in various ways. This is a sample of future plans.
Last month, Eviation Aircraft completed the first maiden voyage of its all-electric aircraft, Alice. This is her eight minute journey at an altitude of 3,500 feet. What sets this aircraft apart is that it is carbon-free, noise-reducing, and more affordable to operate per hour compared to light jets and high-end turboprops. Intended for commuting and freight transport, Alice is expected to operate flights in her 150-250 mile range on a regular basis.
Two domestic airlines, Cape Air and Global Crossing Airlines, have placed orders for 75 and 50 Alice aircraft respectively. DHL Express is his Eviation’s first cargo customer with an order for 12 Alice eCargo planes.
An electric flying taxi will also appear. Last month, United Airlines invested his $15 million in Eve Air Mobility through United Aviation Ventures, which supports new technologies aimed at sustainability and decarbonizing air travel. The United-Eve partnership includes his plans to purchase 200 four-seat electric aircraft, with the first deliveries expected as early as 2026. We are about to revolutionize the commuting experience in cosmopolitan cities.
Instead of combustion engines, eVTOL aircraft use electric motors for carbon-free flight. Embraer SA-backed Eve came up with an ‘air taxi’ designed to lift and then cruise using conventional fixed wings, rotors and pushers. The vehicle is environmentally and aurally friendly, with a range he said of 60 miles and a noise level he said is 90% lower than conventional aircraft.
In addition to the Eve deal, United were already using electric transportation. Last August, United offered his $10 million bond to provide his California-based eVTOL company with 100 of his aircraft.
Electric boats are also gaining attention. More than 100,000 people watched from land and water when the world speed record for an electric boat was broken at 109mph in the Lake of the Ozark shootout. F1 H20 World Champion Sean Trente helmed his V32, his 32-foot widebody catamaran for Vision Marine, designed by Vision Marine and his STR at Trente. He reached 104 mph on the first run and accelerated to 109 mph on the second run. This broke the world record for electric speed his boat, set by Jaguar with Vector Boats. Vision Marine is so confident in his V32 that he vows to race it with anyone, anywhere, to prove the company’s propulsion technology is the strongest in the world.
As multiple car companies follow Tesla with electric vehicles, GMC partnered with shopping platform NTWRK to try to lure consumers with exclusive products. The hookup was to first bring attention to his GMC Sierra EV Denali Edition 1, the latest all-electric vehicle that was unveiled Oct. 20. His fashion designer, Dao-Yi Chow, initially embarked on a collaboration on items designed to reflect the Sierra EV’s tech, but it fell through.
Another custom item was portable in a different way. National Hockey League’s Ouston Matthews was the league’s most valuable player for the 2021-22 season, gifting four convertibles his Traveler Garment bag.
Thrill-seekers of varying speeds are also finding options that aren’t entirely new. . Imagine a motorcycle with handlebars but no seat and no peddling. The rider steps onto the plywood deck, activates the power with his thumb throttle, and zips along like he’s on a scooter. The Vinghen Ti1 was first rolled out via crowdfunding in the fall of 2020, and then updated, and via Indiegogo he is expected to sell for $1,549. There’s also a $1,099 VIP offer for the European-made Vinghen Ti1 billed as a “smart pushbike.”
Swiss family-owned company Micro uses fewer parts in its toy-like design to create eco-friendly cars. First conceived by Swiss inventor Wim Uboter and his sons Merlin and Oliver, it went into production last summer at a joint factory with the Italian company CECOMP in Turin. The Swiss customer got behind the wheel of the Microliner earlier than any other with the Pioneer Series. Already, more than 35,000 people have booked his Microlino, according to the company. The stylish vehicle will cost around €15,000 and deliveries will start next year in France and other European countries. Gucci CEO Marco Bizzarri was one of the first to land.
Micro is also preparing the Microlino Lite, tailored for younger customers without a driver’s license, with a top speed of 45 kilometers per hour. The model will be produced next year. The company is also honing other categories, such as his Microletta, a three-wheeled electric moped that was first unveiled in 2020. Equipped with a removable battery, it can easily travel over 100 kilometers on a single charge and can be recharged by the battery. A regular outlet at home. Classified as a tricycle in Europe, the Microletta can be used without a driver’s license. No production date has been set yet, but thousands are already lining up to order online.
Another addition to the Micro family is the Microlino Spiagina Concept, inspired by legendary compact cars of the 60s such as the Fiat 600 Jolie and the Citroën 2CV. With a canvas white and blue striped roof and open sides and rear, the car is intended to encourage passengers to enjoy the breeze in the height of summer.