COVID-19 update included
The content of this report will be updated with the latest scenarios based on the global COVID-19 Pandemic


Summary

Electric aircraft utilize a wide range of technologies from multiple domains, from the basic airframe components inherent to every aircraft, to advanced batteries and electronics. However, this thematic report shall focus upon the enabling technologies that distinguish electric aircraft from existing aircraft relying upon hydrocarbon energy for propulsion. This report looks at key products used in electric aircraft.

This report is part of our ecosystem of thematic investment research reports, supported by our “thematic engine”.

Whilst the ambition for the development of electric aircraft has been persistent throughout the age of flight, only recently has other technological advances facilitated an advance which makes the possibility of electric aircraft seem more likely. This development has been heralded as the ’Third Age of Flight’, a revolution in the aviation industry comparable to the advent of jet propulsion and heavier-than-air flight. Electric propulsion, or electric aircraft, describes the range of fixed-wing aircraft and rotorcraft which at least in part rely upon electricity to power their propulsion.

Whilst still a nascent market segment, electric aircraft have the potential to disrupt the existing aerospace industry, providing a challenge to the dominance of hydrocarbon propulsion. In the context of climate change, electric aircraft may have an advantage commercially going forward as emissions standards and carbon taxes increase the cost of operating a hydrocarbon fleet. There are three options available to aircraft developers in regard to electric aircraft; hybrid-electric propulsion, turbo-electric propulsion, or all-electric propulsion.


Scope

  • Demand for electric aircraft-related products will be driven by increasing global demand for efficiency and climate responsibility in commercial aviation, aswell as changing passenger habits, and increased demand for pseudo-satellite capabilities.
  • There will be a significant spending push in electric aircraft-related technologies - including battery development and HAPS systems.




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