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Potential for electric aircraft

Commercial aircraft rely on liquid hydrocarbon fuels. Short-range all-electric aircraft have promise to reduce environmental impacts while remaining cost-competitive; however, they will require significant battery improvements.

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Fig. 1: The scaling challenge for all-electric aircraft.


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The authors acknowledge S. Sripad for help with the graphics illustration.

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Correspondence to Venkatasubramanian Viswanathan.

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Competing interests

V.V. is a technical consultant and a member of Advisory Board at Zunum Aero, and owns stock options. He is a technical consultant and owns stock options at QuantumScape. He is a consultant for Pratt & Whitney. His research group receives funding from Airbus A3, QuantumScape and Zunum Aero. B.M.K. is the co-founder and Aero Chief Engineer at Zunum Aero.

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Viswanathan, V., Knapp, B.M. Potential for electric aircraft. Nat Sustain 2, 88–89 (2019).

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