The Slovenian light aircraft manufacturer, Pipistrel, has delivered the first of what it claims is the only commercially available "electric 2-seat aeroplane in serial production". An optional trailer, which houses the aircraft, is equipped with solar panels for charging its batteries.
The aircraft is actually a self-launching glider with a retractable electric engine and propellor. The motor peaks at 40 kW for take-off and allows continuous climbing at 30 kW power. It has two alternative lithium battery configurations capable of lauching it to 1,200 metres or 2,000 metres respectively.
The company claims that its Taurus Electro G2 can use a shorter runway, climb faster and perform much better than the gasoline-powered version of the same aircraft.
The "Solar Trailer" contains buffer batteries which are charged by sunlight at any time and can deliver a full charge to the aircraft in 5 hours.
Pipistrel has also announced that it is developing hybrid and electric versions of its 4-seat Panthera aircraft. The company says that the electric Panthera will have a range of 400 kilometres compared with 1,750 kilometres for the gasoline version.