ZeroAvia raises USD 21m to fund hydrogen plane R&D

ZeroAvia's test plane for hydrogen-powered flight. Image source: ZeroAvia on Twitter (@ZeroAvia)

December 17 (Renewables Now) - ZeroAvia, a California-based start-up promoting hydrogen-powered aircraft, said on Wednesday it had raised USD 21.4 million (EUR 17.5m) in a Series A funding round to step up its work on zero-emission solutions for commercial planes.

Leading the round were Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a business founded by Bill Gates, and Ecosystem Integrity Fund, with follow-on backers including Amazon.com Inc’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) The Climate Pledge Fund, Horizons Ventures, Summa Equity and Shell Ventures, a venture capital arm of Royal Dutch Shell Plc (AMS:RDSA).

On top of private capital, ZeroAvia has also secured a USD-16.3-million grant from the UK government and forged a partnership with British Airways to help the airline explore hydrogen-powered flying.

In September, the start-up completed one flight with a hydrogen fuel cell-powered commercial six-seat plane at Cranfield Airport, England. ZeroAvia now plans to ramp up development of its hydrogen-electric powertrain and use the Series A pot to launch the next phase of its R&D programme.

The company said it will focus on developing and testing a powertrain capable of flying ten to 20-seat planes for up to 500 miles and commercialise the technology as early as 2023.

“[O]ver ten forward-looking airlines are now gearing up to implement our powertrains when they are ready in 2023” said Val Miftakhov, ZeroAvia founder and CEO.

By 2026, the company plans to put an 80-seater in the air for an over 500-mile flight, and realise over 1,000-mile flights in planes with over 100 seats by 2030.

(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.816)

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Sladjana has significant experience as a Spain-focused business news reporter and is now diving deeper into the global renewable energy industry. She is the person to seek if you need information about Latin American renewables and the Spanish market.

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