It is very much a work in progress. The batteries are only used to help get the plane airborne. “We could get half an hour of juice out of them but the batteries wouldn’t be happy with that,” said Seguin.
The plane has been built by California company Ampaire, which believes hybrid, and eventually, completely electric planes may, in the not too distant future, be used for short hops – for example from Exeter to the Isles of Scilly.
Susan Ying, Ampaire’s senior vice-president, said she believed that as well as being good for the environment, hybrid planes will cut the cost of flying.
She said the cost of the hop from Exeter to Newquay in Electric EEL was 30% cheaper than in a conventional light aircraft. “And batteries are coming down in price all the time,” she said.