IDTechEx reports on manned electric aircraft market

Market research provider IDTechEx has reported availability of a new research report on manned electric aircraft, Manned Electric Aircraft 2016-2031, focusing on the present and future of both hybrid and pure electric aircraft, the company said.

The company said that so far electric aircraft have largely followed electric land and water vehicles. Small pure electric aircraft appeared first, about 50 years after the first electric boats and cars. Hybrid ones are still needed for longer distances and tougher duty cycles, and are only now getting serious investment.

Siemens, Airbus, Toyota, Honda, BMW, Google and Facebook are already working on aircraft, and Apple is interested as well. Major aerospace companies are investing billions from the top end in the form of the more electric aircraft (MEA) movement, which means airliners are progressing in the direction of electric powertrains. There is also heavy investment in unmanned aircraft (UAVs/drones) and some of this technology will benefit manned flight.

IDTechEx Research sees truly hybrid and pure electric aircraft being a USD24 billion business in 2031. According to its projections, half of the market will be relatively low-priced craft such as leisure and small work aircraft, and the other half will be a mix, including helicopters, military aircraft and feeder aircraft, with large airliners not quite there.

The new report Unusually, IDTechEx links its analysis to the whole electric vehicle business for land, water and air. This is because there is huge scope for cross fertilising and standardising approaches and technologies in both directions. These markets are merging and experiencing disruptive entry by outsiders. The report includes manufacturer and aircraft profiles, interviews and presentations from the leaders. There is also a close look at key components of the future such as hybrid supercapacitors, batteries that will follow lithium-ion, new motors, power components, structural electronics and the technology of energy independent vehicles. It gives a detailed technology roadmap and sales forecasts with specifications of actual and planned aircraft along the way.