370-Mile Range at Speeds of 124 MPH – BEV Priced at $120,770

2 years ago by Mark Hovis 44

This BEV is also capable of efficient battery swapping.

One more catch…it flies.

Pipistrel’s Taurus Electro launched its two seater in 2007 and it’s produced in Ajdovscina, close to the Italian border.

Taurus

Sky pilot, how high can you fly?

Pipistrel hopes to revolutionize the market with their Electro Taurus. The Taurus G2 is a sailplane. The ROI of the $120,770 Taurus is achieved by the plane’s inexpensive maintenance. According to Pipistrel, with an operational cost of 70 cents per hour, the Taurus G2 costs 10 times less to operate than traditional twin-seater planes.

The Taurus is capable of achieving an altitude of 6,500 feet on its lithium battery, after which the engine is retracted for sailing.

Though traditionally an automotive site, we continue to follow plug-ins that fly. For in fact, battery technology advancements impact multiple applications.

(Update) A recent comment was made by Pipestrel’s founder referring to their Taurus G4 (four-seater) not currently in production.

“The car industry, with all the money it has at its disposal, and practically no weight limitation, even today isn’t capable of producing an electric car that would take four passengers for 600 kilometres at a speed of 200 kilometres per hour,” Pipistrel’s founder, Ivo Boscarol told AFP.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk states that once batteries are capable of producing 400 Watt-hours per kilogram, with a ratio of power cell to overall mass of between 0.7-0.8, then an electrical transcontinental aircraft becomes “compelling”.

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44 responses to "370-Mile Range at Speeds of 124 MPH – BEV Priced at $120,770"

  1. Someone out there says:

    Electric flight is indeed the next interesting frontier.

    Another area where I would like to see progress in in agriculture. Carbon neutral food production needs to happen soon.

    1. Yup says:

      There are fewer gains than you think. Agriculture is, by necessity, one of the most efficient industries. Farmers were recycling way before it was cool. Got cow poop? Fertilizer! Use less gasoline and cause less erosion? No-till planting!

      Seriously, agriculture is fantastically efficient for what it produces, but it’s a common punching bag because it isn’t a big part of the economy in coastal areas where the news comes from.

      1. ffbj says:

        Over fertilization is a huge problem worldwide. Fully 65% of applied fertilizer is wasted. So while in general there are many efficient farming practices the, fence to fence row planting, and lack of run off cleansing marshy areas, has led to oxygen dead zones worldwide.

        There are lots of problems with pollution in modern farming, and that is not efficient.

      2. martinwinlow says:

        Hmmm… IMO, agriculture, as we (in the Western World) know it is doomed. The idea that you would use massive machines to bash the earth into submission, consuming vast quantities of energy (especially fossil-fued) just to produce a pitifully small amount of useful food per unit area is bonkers. The alternative, future system – for the masses, at least – will be all hydroponic, with not a plough or tractor in sight. Sure, the produce will be basic forms of starch, protein, fibre, sugar etc (ie ‘gloop’) but it will then transformed into whatever food you want, much like Star Trek’s ‘replicator’.

        In the meantime, there is much scope for carrying on in the traditional way but using EVs to do the work instead of ICEVs – but it is going to require – as ever – a fairly significant investment in infrastructure, as well as the tractive units. There are already huge mining machines used (particularly open-cast mines) which are ‘mains’ powered and lay out a cable as they move away from the power supply point and then reel it back in again on the way back. A similar approach could be used on farms. Alternatively, the machine could work spirally out from a central pint like the the irrigation systems used world-wide. MW

        1. scott franco says:

          I believe the movie “soylent green” had the ultimate answer here.

    2. We have to stop using artificial chemical fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides. These kill the live-building processes in the soil, and lead to massive erosion.

      We need to use biochar – which will sink carbon into the soil AND add huge benefits for fertility and water retention.

      Factory farming now adds ~25% of all greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, and destroys the soil. We can make agriculture a carbon sink and build the soil.

    3. Joseph Dubeau says:

      The ox and plough still works well.

  2. kdawg says:

    I wonder how that picture was taken.

      1. sven says:

        I think we have a winner!

    1. Steven says:

      By a well timed sky diver?

    2. FSJ says:

      Chase plane and a telephoto lens.

  3. DocDragon says:

    Catchy subject line — albeit a little bit misleading. But I like it. 😉

    No numbers on 0-60 acceleration, braking distance, or tire size?? *LOL*

    1. Yup says:

      The weight to horsepower ratio must be through the roof! But no airbags? What is this, 1950? 🙂

    2. M Hovis says:

      Yes I agree Doc, and was aware of that when I chose it, and I don’t wish to encourage click bait. It was however the message quoted by the owner that really made me take pause in the familiarity in his statement.

      Just in a matter of years, I have gone from dismissing electric flight, to being captivated by its progress. I believe now it is not a matter of if but when. From previous research, it looks like commercial flight could only be 40 years out. That is pretty amazing.

      1. RexxSee says:

        My guess is more 15 years.
        Airbus has a 100 seats in the oven

        1. heisenberght says:

          I say 10 years!

          Why? Because I’m overly optimistic 😉

  4. Ambulator says:

    Judging by the charging specifications it seems to have around a 12 kWh battery. I don’t think that will get you 600 km except by utilizing updrafts.

    1. protomech says:

      41:1 glide ratio, ~400 kg minimum weight works out to around ~16 kWh potential energy for the full range at ~100 km/h.

      probably needs even more battery power. Wondering how solar on the wings would work out vs battery weight, given a 3-6 hour flight time.

      1. Ambulator says:

        I missed the glide ratio of 41. That is very good, but they are only claiming that it can climb to 2000 meters, and that is using the large battery. That means that at most they will go 82 km without updrafts.

        It’s a nice sailplane with an engine, but it’s not going to be suitable for reliable transportation.

        1. Bone says:

          Some distance is traveled while climbing too, so it would be about 100 km total.

  5. EVcarNut says:

    Farmers are some of the smartest people on the planet!

  6. Dan says:

    Range anxiety takes on a different dimension.

    1. M Hovis says:

      On a tangent, but as an X-hang glider pilot, I say not in this one. Too much wind is your only enemy which has nothing to do with running out of juice. When gliding, you gain wind speed by aiming your craft at the ground.

    2. SJC says:

      With a 40 to 1 glide ratio it may be less anxious.

  7. When Flying, you don’t burn more fuel to maintain speed, but you burn the same energy – and go slower – when flying into a headwind.

    But – with a Tail wind – you use the same energy – but you travel faster over the ground while keeping the same airspeed!

    In a Glider – Going Fast is used to get you quickly to the next thermal – that your can ride up again to get free altitude! But when riding a thermal you go slow – to stay in the thermal and use the least amount of energy and gain the most altitude quickly.

    Sunseeker Duo – adds Solar Panels for Charging while sitting at the airport waiting to go flying, AND while flying! – http://www.solar-flight.com/home/

    The Longest Running Solar Plane – http://www.solarimpulse.com/ using no fuel but the sun!

  8. Cavaron says:

    Electric Taurus? Where did I hear that before?
    http://simpsons.wikia.com/wiki/Elec-Taurus

  9. PureElectricPower says:

    For example airplane with only one seat – the pilot.
    empty weight – 617 lbs
    motor 40kW – 25 lbs
    8kWh battery – 121 lbs
    max take off mass – 815 lbs
    max horizontal flight distance 120 miles at 60mph
    How much will be consumption for bigger and havier airplane?
    What baterry will need for 370miles(600km)?
    Two seats airplane with battery over 32kWh will weight over 1200 lbs and how much energy will use?

  10. PureElectricPower says:

    If this airplane can go 370miles(600km) at 120mph will need 85kWh Tesla battery.

  11. Taser54 says:

    Looks likea cruddy prop design.

    1. Nick says:

      No one told them that Tazer54 was available to help with aerospace engineering challenges.

      Next time. 😉

  12. pjwood1 says:

    The comments tell me this somehow got cross-posted. That’s OK. Inside EVs could always use a few more thrill seekers.

  13. ModernMarvelFan says:

    Okay, so basically a glider with a cheap fan on board…

    1. SJC says:

      They bought the cheapest one at Walmart.

      Seriously, some powered gliders fold up the motor once soaring.

  14. scott franco says:

    Its not a bad idea. Gliders only need power for a short time, and get most of their power from exploitation of updrafts, which are natural energy sources driven by the sun.

    Airplane electrification is a special subject. They are very weight sensitive, and have other special concerns, like the fact that BEVs do not shed weight as they fly. Liquid fueled airplanes do. The weight of the fuel is significant, and drops rapidly as the fuel is used.

    Electrifying airplanes would eliminate a very low amount of pollution, since the light aircraft at which they would be practical are a tiny fraction of that of cars and trucks.

    1. ModernMarvelFan says:

      All great points.

      +10.

  15. For Large Aircraft – there are large amounts of fuel burned, just in taxiing from the Gate to the end of the runway – for an A320 or a 737 For Example (not the largest of aircraft, by any means, but they spend a lot of their day in taxiing – much more % of their flight time than an A340 or a 747, for example!) the burning of fuel amounts to some $700 for a 737, on the ramp taxi time alone! An A320 example in the video below shows 331 Lbs of Fuel saved!

    Electrifying these aircraft – for Taxiing using the On Board APU (Auxiliary Power Unit), to supply Power to Electric ‘Hub Motors’ is already being done by two players – EGTS International – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8av4C4Bn2JM
    Or https://aerospace.honeywell.com/about/media-resources/newsroom/honeywell-and-safran-to-demonstrate-electric-green-taxiing-system-at-paris-air-show – and WheelTug – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jOoykydKddo

    Benefits beyond the fuel saved, are also tied to ‘Tankering’; Push-back, Brake wear Saved (No need to ride the brakes while taxiing), flexibility, etc.

    As to expanding Practicality – http://www.solar-flight.com/projects/solar-6-seat-transporter/ shows a 6 seat, All Electric, or optional – Serial Hybrid, Solar Flight System, based on a current aircraft design!

    Per – “Tesla CEO Elon Musk states that once batteries are capable of producing 400 Watt-hours per kilogram…” – note this story – http://cleantechnica.com/2015/07/01/oxis-manufacture-li-s-batteries-achieving-400-whkg/ So – 400 Wh/Kg may not be so far away!

  16. Chris C. says:

    Mark Hovis, it’s a relief to see that a writer at InsideEVs CAN get “its” vs “it’s” correct. Can you somehow educate your stablemates? I have tried and failed.

    1. M Hovis says:

      You are giving me too much credit Chris. I am the worst grammarian in the group. I myself am a retired engineer and often destroy punctuation and worse. English is a second language for some of the writers as well, though the inclusive passion for EVs is second to none! Eric Cote used to help proof articles until the site grew to start pumping out a dozen articles daily.

  17. Djoni says:

    Eric who?
    It’s a Cote that ain’t Cole.

    I love sailplane anyway.

  18. Bill Lofton says:

    The Ivo Boscarol quote in this article appears to be referring to the Pipistrel Taurus G4 four-seater, which is not in production. http://www.pipistrel.si/news/taurus-g4-is-flying-at-the-nasa-gfc That BEV is a proof-of-concept airplane that was built for a 2001 competition by melding two Taurus G2 airplanes with a center wing, a single, larger motor (145 kW peak, 100 kW continuous), and a 90 kWh battery pack. (The Taurus G2’s pack is 7.1 kWh.) In 2001, the Taurus G4 had a range of a little under 300 miles at 100 mph, so I’m guessing Ivo was quoting the range of the G4 if the 2001 battery pack was replaced with same weight built from current battery cells with higher Wh/kg.

  19. Bill Lofton says:

    Sorry, 2011, not 2001 above.