Wright Electric is a startup company that aims for electrification in the sky, to eliminate the biggest cost for airline carriers of today - fuel.
Wright's goal is to develop a 150-seat all-electric airplane with a 300 mile (nearly 500 km) range that would compete in the 737 style Boeing and Airbus plane market.
Both Boeing and Airbus sold nearly 1,000 of those planes in 2016 - and at around $90 million each, so there is huge potential in electrification.
"These short-haul trips make up 30 percent of all flights, and is a $26 billion market."
Wright already has a partner in British airline EasyJet, which could ultimately be the first to put such a plane into service.
Two scenarios were outlined by Wright. If the outfitted batteries are energy dense enough, the plane will be all-electric. If not, well there is always a range-extended option like Chevrolet Volt.
"Today Wright Electric gave its first preview to the world at Y Combinator’s Demo Day, where Silicon Valley’s most prestigious startup accelerator puts its new companies in front of investors. Wright Electric announced it’s building a 150-seat plane to disrupt the 737 market. It’s struck a partnership with budget British airline EasyJet, which could put its design in the air. And it even showed off its own electric plane in the parking lot.
“This is one of best hard tech teams I’ve seen,” said Michael Seibel, the head of Y Combinator’s accelerator program. Wright Electric hired a team that had been previously funded by NASA to investigate the potential for electric planes, which its co-founder Jeff Engler says puts the startup years ahead of the competition."