Electric aircraft startup Zunum is looking to disrupt the airline industry with a unique approach that enables airlines to benefit from advances in battery technology pioneered by the auto industry.
Backed by Boeing, the Seattle-based company wants to release a hybrid-electric aircraft within five years. The energy density of jet fuel is far higher than the lithium-ion batteries used in current electric vehicles, but that will eventually change at the rate battery technology is progressing.
Zunum’s first plane will be a 12-seater featuring several battery packs and a small fuel reserve for a back-up engine, allowing it to fly about 700 miles, which is far enough to carry travelers from Boston to Washington or Silicon Valley to Los Angeles. The company stated:
“Our range-optimized hybrid-to-electric aircraft bring airliner economics to mid-sized aircraft, traveling over ranges from 700 miles in the early 2020s to over 1,000 miles by 2030.”
Zunum believes electric propulsion will slash fares and extend service to small airports, disrupting the air travel industry in the process.
Unconventional Ways to Travel Through London
It’s hard to avoid the Tube or bus when travelling through London, England, but with most people telling you not to drive, even though the cost of buying a car — particularly a second-hand car — is probably less than the cost of the tube, what options do you really have?
Despite being efficient, the tube is usually cramped and hot and the buses are quite slow and often late. To spare you the trouble of having to walk long distances on your next trip to the city of London, here are three unconventional ways of swiftly getting around that you probably didn’t know about:
By Boat and Ferry
The capital of England is conveniently situated around the river Thames, which historically served the city as a trading platform.
These days, the Thames is used as a tourist attraction, and many of London’s finest attractions are situated along the river bank – The London Eye and the Houses of Parliament are two examples. In the future, though, we will be using the Thames as a major mode of transport.
Transport for London and the Mayor of London that by 2020, they would like to double the amount of journeys taken by boat down the river Thames to 12,000,000 a year, as this will help to ease city congestion and make use of one of the city’s major features.
While rickshaws are a rare sight in North America and elsewhere around the world, they are extremely common in London and make for a quick, efficient mode of transport.
A Rickshaw is a three-wheeled bike which is pulled by one person. Because the vehicle is quite small, it is particularly nimble, and this means it can navigate between traffic quite efficiently. They are also particularly cheap, so if you don’t have much cash, they’re a particularly viable option, particularly if you share one with another person.
This might not be the most luxurious way of travelling around London, but it does have its perks. Firstly, there’s no cost other than the price of the bike – which can be as much or as little as you like. Second, there’s the fact that you get to have an up-close view of the city as you move around it.
London is currently investing heavily in cyclist routes and in bike hire through the Barclay’s Cycle Hire scheme, so even if you’re just visiting the city as a tourist, you don’t have to rule cycling out as an effective method of transport.
Hopefully you can now see that you don’t have to stick to the tube or the buses if you want to move around London. There are more unconventional modes of transport to try out, and they’re more accessible than you think, so give them a try.