On a Friday afternoon a few months ago, a small six-seater plane soared over fields near Hollister, California. From the outside, it looked entirely normal. But instead of running on jet fuel, it was being powered by technology that can be run on hydrogen (though this flight was powered by electric batteries). It was the largest zero-emissions plane to ever fly without support from fossil fuels. ZeroAvia , the startup that designed the hydrogen-fueled electric powertrain inside the plane, has been testing the technology over the past year and emerged from stealth today. The company says it will run a full test flight with hydrogen on board in a few weeks. In 2022, it plans to begin supplying the powertrain for use in planes with as many as 20 seats, on flights up to 500 miles long. [Photo: courtesy ZeroAvia] Several other startups are also working on technology designed to cut emissions from air travel, an industry responsible for nearly 900 million metric tons of CO2 emissions a year at a time when emissions need to begin to shrink to zero. But most other companies rely on batteries to store electric power. (Ampaire, a startup that recently took its […]

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