Start-up Wright Electric’s goal is for every short flight to be electric within 20 years. In March, at Y Combinator's Demo Day, it offered a preview of its first plane, an 150-seat airliner designed for flights like New York-Boston, London-Paris, and Seoul-Jeju.
Electrification depends on major advances in batteries. For now, Wright Electric has a plan B in hybrid planes, not dissimilar to a Chevy Volt.
Electrification of flights could be a significant factor in meeting emissions reduction targets to reduce global warming. The sustainability of electric aviation depends as much on the source of energy - which has to be renewable for this to have an impact on emissions. The commercial case, in the long run, is strong: every airline is looking to reduce its spend on fuel. A cheap and inexhaustible source of power could make the airline very competitive once it takes off (so to speak).
This related article was spotted by Gwyneth Fries on 5 Dec 2017:
ELECTRIC cars are clean, quiet and, it seems, the way of the future. Tesla, an American firm that has done much to help electric cars shed their museli-munching image, is struggling to meet demand for its mid-market Model 3 (though that has not stopped it announcing plans to build electric lorries as well).