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Dale Vince

Climate love

Activist Dale Vince to Launch the UK's First Electric Airline

Dale Vince, the prominent figure in green energy, climate activist and supporter of Just Stop Oil, has announced plans to establish Britain's first electric airline as a demonstration of how polluting industries can achieve decarbonization.
Dubbed Ecojet and envisioned as a symbol of eco-friendly Britain, the airline is scheduled for an early debut next year, operating a 19-seater aircraft on the Edinburgh-Southampton route.
Initially, the planes will run on kerosene-based fuel during their first year, after which they will be retrofitted with engines capable of converting green hydrogen into electricity.
Having founded Ecotricity, the UK's pioneering green energy firm, in 1995, Vince has consistently spearheaded ventures focused on low-carbon solutions and ethical practices spanning energy, transportation, food, and even football. He currently serves as the chairman of League Two's Forest Green Rovers, renowned as the “world's greenest football club.”
Speaking to The Guardian, Vince expressed, “We aim to demonstrate that one of the remaining frontiers of decarbonization can be conquered, proving it is not an insurmountable challenge. Many people mistakenly believe that eco-conscious individuals advocate for a life of self-denial in seclusion. Green living is not about deprivation—everything we enjoy in life can be accomplished while maintaining a net-zero lifestyle.”
Upon launch, the airline will introduce several 19-seater planes, adorned with green stripes, with a range of 300 miles (482.8 kilometres). Vince envisions expanding the airline's routes to cover major cities throughout Britain.
To uphold its environmental ethos, the company will implement eco-friendly uniforms for staff and serve plant-based meals.
A subsequent phase, expected in 18 months, will introduce 70-seater planes capable of European flights. The company is presently in the process of securing licensing from the Civil Aviation Authority and acquiring takeoff and landing slots at airports.
Launching an airline is a time-consuming process, and Ecojet will not initially operate as an electric airline, instead employing kerosene-based fuel to ensure a swift launch. Vince acknowledged his reservations about commencing the project with fossil fuel usage but stressed the importance of a quick start to secure planes and landing slots while maintaining project momentum.
He remarked, “Although it appears contradictory, the essence of this project lies in repurposing existing planes and retrofitting them. This pragmatic approach ensures minimal delays. We will establish the necessary infrastructure, get the planes airborne, and switch to the new engines once available.”
The aviation industry is currently exploring various decarbonization options, including electric flight and the use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF)—a biofuel derived from agricultural products. Vince criticized SAF, referring to it as “misleading.” He argued, “The amount of land required for crop cultivation is far beyond what is available.”
Several startups and aviation companies, including UK engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce and an Australian charter firm, have been actively developing electric flight solutions. Vince acknowledged the hype and misinformation surrounding the hydrogen economy, primarily driven by fossil fuel companies. Nevertheless, he emphasized its suitability for aviation due to its lightweight nature and the justifiable energy expenditure involved in its production, considering the green aviation it enables.
Vince pledged that Ecojet would match existing airlines' pricing and target a broad consumer base beyond environmentally conscious individuals. He plans to invest £1 million initially and seek additional funding in the coming year.
He concluded, “I want to prove that it can be accomplished and is worthwhile. We anticipate our venture will be profitable. Our primary goal is to take to the skies with this newfound ability to fly without leaving a carbon footprint. It will be the final piece of the [low carbon] puzzle for us, leaving a significant emotional impact.”
While Vince refrains from air travel to protect the environment, he intends to make an exception once his airline is operational.
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  • Alois Manhartsgruber

    46 w

    Is the use of green hydrogen for aviation a valid option in regards of (realistic) production capabilities and needs for other sectors like the industry? And won't this project delay politic action regarding the needed taxation of kerosene and pricing aviation correctly? Because to me it sounds just like the tactics of oil companies, who at first commited a bit of their efforts into small (financially not sustainable and not effective) green projects (comparable to this one) and goals so politics wouldn't start regulating them just to lower those goals now and ensuring that they would continue to make a shitload of money with fossil fuels.

    2
    • Sarah Chabane

      47 w

      a very promising solution! Definitely something to keep an eye on

      6
      • We Don't Have Time

        47 w

        Dear Professor Aniebiet Inyang Ntui Your climate love has received over 50 agrees! We have reached out to Dale Vince by email and requested a response. I will keep you updated on any progress! To reach more people and increase the chance of a response, click the Share button above to share the review on your social accounts. For every new member that joins We Don't Have Time from your network, we will plant a tree and attribute it to you! /Adam, We Don't Have Time

        1
        • Videlis Eddie

          47 w

          This is a promising idea... super cool

          4
          • Rukia Ahmed Abdi

            47 w

            wonderful news

            6
            • Elizabeth Gathigia

              47 w

              This is amazing way to lower carbon emissions

              9
              • mercy nduta

                47 w

                @elizbeth_gathigia Reducing the carbon footprint has a direct and positive impact on the environment.

                6
                • Jane Wangui

                  47 w

                  @elizbeth_gathigia less carbon emissions the better.

                  5
                • Daniel Waweru

                  47 w

                  This is indeed a milestone. A great way of reducing carbon print

                  9
                  • Grace Njeri

                    47 w

                    Electric aircraft will service short routes and provide zero-emission flights,Its a big achievement.

                    10
                    • winnie nguru

                      47 w

                      Huge milestone this one!

                      9
                      • Princess

                        47 w

                        It's worthwhile the newfound ability to fly without a carbon footprint. 

                        10
                        • Ingmar Rentzhog

                          47 w

                          This is very cool!

                          16
                          • Lucinda Ramsay

                            47 w

                            This is great, if he can get the Premier League to use his planes instead of flying on private jets to every match he'd be onto a real winner!! Either way this is fantastic!! What a champion.

                            17
                            • Jane Wangui

                              47 w

                              @lucinda_ramsay we hope that everyone can embrace all this changes for our future

                              4
                            • bonke reinhard

                              47 w

                              Looking forward for these good idea

                              9
                              • Jane Wangui

                                47 w

                                @bonke_reinhard it is a very promising one

                                5
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