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ZeroAvia Secures $116 Million Funding Boost for Hydrogen-Electric Aircraft Project

6 Dec 2023

In a significant development for the future of aviation, hydrogen-electric aviation start-up ZeroAvia has successfully concluded a financing round, raising an impressive $116 million. The funds will be pivotal in advancing the company's efforts to develop zero-emission engines powered by hydrogen-electric technology.

Major Contributors and Backers

Key participants in the funding round include the UK Infrastructure Bank, which contributed $40 million, Bill Gates's Breakthrough Energy Ventures, aerospace giant Airbus, Barclays Sustainable Impact Capital, and Saudi Arabia’s Neom Investment Fund. The collaboration reflects a shared commitment to innovative solutions for reducing carbon emissions in the aviation sector.

ZeroAvia's Mission and Focus

Founded in 2017, ZeroAvia has been dedicated to developing hydrogen-electric engines as part of the UK government’s ambitious target to decarbonize aviation by 2050. The latest funding injection is expected to accelerate engine development and aid in securing UK regulatory certification by 2025.

Global Interest in Hydrogen Aviation

The UK Infrastructure Bank's substantial backing underscores the growing global interest in hydrogen as a key solution for curbing aviation emissions. While the timeline for widespread adoption of hydrogen flight remains a topic of discussion, industry experts acknowledge its critical role, particularly for short to medium-haul flights. A coordinated effort across sectors is deemed essential to build the necessary infrastructure for achieving a net-zero economy.

Surge in Green Aviation Initiatives

Simultaneously, in the United States, there is a surge in efforts to develop zero-emission aircraft. Surf Air Mobility Inc., a leading US regional air mobility platform, is taking significant strides to pioneer green regional air travel. The company aims to achieve this transformation by upgrading existing aircraft with hybrid and fully-electric engines, presenting a groundbreaking advancement in sustainable transportation.

Surf Air Mobility's Strategic Initiatives

Surf Air Mobility has entered into an exclusive relationship with Textron Aviation, one of the largest general aviation manufacturers, and has placed an order for up to 150 Cessna Grand Caravan EX models. These aircraft are intended to undergo upgrades with Surf Air Mobility’s proprietary electric or hybrid-electric powertrain technology.

Collaboration with Azul S.A. in Brazil

Furthermore, Surf Air Mobility has formed a collaboration with Azul S.A., Brazil's largest airline, with the goal of integrating electric Cessna Caravans into Azul's existing fleet. The partnership aims to contribute to Azul's target of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2045. Surf Air Mobility anticipates certifying its proprietary electrified powertrain in the US by 2026.

Accelerating the Transition to Electric Aircraft

The collaboration between Azul and Surf Air Mobility seeks to expedite the development and market entry of electric aircraft by jointly addressing technical and regulatory specifications. The ambitious partnership aims to pave the way for the certification of electrified aircraft within Brazil.

Promising Advancements in Green Aviation

Both ZeroAvia's funding success and Surf Air Mobility's strategic initiatives underscore the promising advancements in green aviation. These endeavors represent a collective push towards embracing innovative technologies and sustainable practices to reshape the future of air travel, aligning with global goals for a more eco-friendly aviation industry.

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