Lonely Planet Writer

Electric flights to be the norm for Norway by 2040

Norway aims to be the first in the world to create an electricity-run only fleet for all its short-haul flights by 2040. The country is often seen as a leader in the electric transport realm.

“We [Avinor], the Norwegian airport operator, and ANSP, [are] committed to reducing carbon emissions from the aviation industry,” Olav Mosvold Larsen, senior advisor for Avinor, told Lonely Planet.

“We have been involved in development of jet biofuel for a number of years – for instance, in January 2016 Avinor’s Oslo Airport became the first hub in the world that offer sustainable jet biofuel to all airlines refuelling there – and have for the last couple of years also been monitoring the development of electric aircraft propulsion closely.”

Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway
A plane flies over Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway. Image by Getty Images/Sven Zacek

Avinor is said to launch a tender to offer to trial a commercial route with electric planes with just 19 seats in 2025. Last year, energy group Energi Norge said that it was entirely possible for the country to become 100% powered by clean electricity by 2050.

With the new fleet, it’s hoped that airliners will produce fewer carbon emissions and less noise. According to Larsen, aircraft producers, for example, Zunum Aero and eViation, also claim that the operational cost will be significantly reduced.

View of Misty Suburban Oslo landscape from Airplane
Top view of light cloud, farmhouses, green valley, forest and river from an airplane flying over Oslo suburb area. Image by Getty Images/Natthawat

“In the future – depending on the aircraft design – one can also foresee electric aircrafts with better operational performance, requiring shorter runways,” he says.

“Electric aircrafts reached the main headlines in national newspapers, radio, and TV during both 2016 and 2017, and we expect a lot of attention also in 2018.”

Votna lake, Hordaland county, Norway
Votna is a manmade lake in the Odda municipality. There is a dam on the southwest end of the lake which regulates the flow of water to the hydroelectric power station. Image by Getty Images/Copyright Morten Falch Sortland

Over 96% of the electricity production in mainland Norway is from hydropower plants and the country has more electric cars on the road than any other country in the world so it’s no surprise that they want to continue pioneering the way for electric travel.

In December 2017, more than 50% of car owners registered electric and energy-efficient vehicles.