Gothenburg, Sweden-based Heart Aerospace has raised $35 million in a Series A financing round led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures, United Airlines Ventures and Mesa Air Group.
Heart Aerospace’s first aircraft will be the ES-19, a battery-electric 19-passenger regional airplane. Heart expects to begin deliveries for commercial use by 2026. The first-generation aircraft will have a maximum range of up to 400 km (250 miles), using today’s lithium-ion batteries. The company expects to increase that range as battery energy densities improve.
In 2020, Heart demonstrated the first iteration of its electric propulsion system, consisting of a 400 kW electric motor, a motor controller and a battery pack with an integrated BMS system.
Heart says its ES-19 will offer significantly lower operating costs compared to similar-size gas-turbine aircraft, and will be quieter than its turboprop counterparts, with less vibration and noise—characteristics that make it ideal for the development of short-range regional air travel.
As part of the agreement, United and Mesa (a regional air carrier that provides scheduled passenger service for American Eagle, United Express and DHL Express) have placed purchase orders for a total of 200 ES-19 aircraft, with options for an additional 100 planes.
“I can’t imagine a stronger coalition of partners to advance our mission to electrify short-haul air travel,” said Anders Forslund, CEO of Heart Aerospace. “There’s United, one of the world’s largest airlines, who’s poised to be the global leader in decarbonizing air travel, and there’s Mesa, the largest operator of 19-seater aircraft in history. This combination of near-term commercial viability and long-term climate investment philosophy is exactly what we need to make commercial electric air travel a reality.”
Source: Heart Aerospace