First electric plane designed from scratch, the twin-engine Alice, from startup Eviation, has experienced significant delays in its development, despite the fact that the maiden flight took place in September 2022.
None of this has stopped Eviation, founded by Israelis Omer Bar-Yohay, Omri Regev and Aviv Tzidon, from collecting serial orders, the latest from Mexican regional airline Aerus.
Since 2019 controlled by the Clermont group, from Singapore, the US manufacturer claims to have more than 300 aircraft ordered from companies such as regional Cape Air, Global Crossing and German EVIA AERO.
The newest customers to close deals for Alice plane were Northern Territory Air Services (NTAS), from Australia, which agreed to purchase 20 aircraft, Air New Zealand, which reserved 23 units within the Mission NextGen Aircraft program, and Aerus, interested in 30 planes.
All these requests are, however, Letters of Intent (LoI), that is, they may or may not be confirmed in the future. The strategy has been common in transactions involving eVTOL, small electric aircraft aimed at urban use.
So Eviation’s challenge is huge. Its aircraft, with bold and beautiful lines, will be capable of carrying up to 9 passengers or 2,600 pounds (1,180 kg) over distances of up to 250 nautical miles (463km) at a speed of 260kt (482km/h).
To allow such performance, Alice is propelled by two Magnix Magni650 electric motors with 700kW of power. The engine manufacturer also belongs to the Clermont group.
Eviation’s goal is to complete the certification process for the electric aircraft by 2025 and start deliveries in 2027. For this, it will serve as a ‘guinea pig’ for the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) to establish the requirements for the first electric aircraft of the type a enter into commercial operation, despite the fact that the model fits the FAR 23 standards.
If all goes well, Alice will reach the market with a great advantage over future competitors that have not yet left the drawing boards.