Tecnam has announced that it has decided to postpone the development of its P-Volt electric aircraft.
The Italian aircraft manufacturer said the decision came after three years of intensive studies covering the entire lifecycle of an all-electric aircraft.
The focus of the P-Volt project has been to provide operators with the ability to fly an all-electric passenger aircraft profitably, efficiently, and sustainably.
But after concluding the study, the company believes that these can only be achieved by “extremely aggressive speculation” on uncertain technology developments.
Tecnam, founded in 1986, looked closely at the state of the art in energy storage and “realistic 5-year developments”, excluding technological revolutions that no one can speculate on.
“We don’t feel attracted by the “2026“ stream or any Electric Rush. It has always been our culture to commit to achievable goals with customers and operators, and we intend to keep that promise,” said Fabio Russo, Tecnam’s chief R&D officer.
“We hope that new technologies will make businesses viable sooner rather than later, and we have real confidence in our partners’ ability to bring highly valuable products to the zero-emission powertrain and energy storage arena.”
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One of the Italian company’s conclusions was that an aircraft with a battery pack at the end of its life would not be the best product for the market, but certainly the worst in terms of Net Present Value (NPV).
Tecnam argues that the proliferation of aircraft with “new” batteries would lead to unrealistic mission profiles that would quickly degrade after a few weeks of operation, making the all-electric passenger aircraft a mere “green transition flagship” rather than a real player in the decarbonisation of aviation.
Despite saying the time for the P-Volt is “not yet ripe”, Tecnam confirms that it will continue to monitor the evolution of technologies capable of achieving net-zero emissions targets, with hopes to bring the P-Volt back into the type certification arena when technology evolution allows.
Tecnam is one of the most active General Aviation manufacturers in the world, with the highest number of new type certifications in recent years.