SEC’s workshop on electric flight

As participants in the Swedish government’s electrification commission, SEC researchers teamed up in a workshop to look at research on electric flight from all themes’ viewpoints.

On behalf of the Swedish government’s electrification commission, SEC led a workshop to discuss national goals for the strategic research area of electric flight. SEC gathers researchers from all sides of emobility, and the workshop had many different perspectives, including hardware, energy storage, electric machines, environment and society, and infrastructure and grid. 

“Important questions are of course energy storage, safety, and technical issues, but very important is also how the infrastructure should be developed and which role and function the electric flights would have in society”, says Luca Peretti, KTH, leader of theme 2, and participant in the workshop.

Long or short flights 

One fundamental issue that was discussed was how the electric planes would fit into the transportation infrastructure. Should there be short-distance flights, and would batteries or fuel cells be the best?

“These are relevant issues not only for the aircraft manufacturers but for the whole society. With electric flights, decisions need to be taken regarding the type of fuel and the infrastructure for it. For instance, if electric flights use batteries for energy storage, then power grids to airports would need to be enhanced”, says Luca Peretti. 

The workshop’s results will contribute to the electrification commission’s planning for research on electric flights.