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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The authors acknowledge S. Sripad for help with the graphics illustration.
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). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41893-019-0233-2