EasyJet to Test Electric Passenger Plane Within a Year

©. Easyjet

Sure, it'll only have nine seats. But the low cost carrier expects larger electric planes in service by 2027.

Last year, easyJet surprised us with a prediction that it would incorporate electric passenger flight into its services within a decade. But the European low-cost carrier appears to show no signs of backing off this bold claim. In fact, Engineering & Technology reports that CEO Johan Lundgren expects to be testing a nine-seater electric passenger plane as early as next year.

Of course, nine seats is tiny compared to most commercial aircraft—but given their horrible per-passenger emissions, it's encouraging to think that some private business jets might be replaced by electric versions even before easyJet gets fully rolling with electric commercial passenger flight.

Ultimately, though, easyJet is still expecting to see planes of up to 220 passengers flying on battery power for routes such as London to Edinburgh, Amsterdam or Paris within the not-too-distant future. And if they happen to be the first airline to achieve it, they'll get about US$1.25m worth in waved landing fees from Heathrow as incentive...