The all-electric Rolls-Royces – “Spirit of Innovation” plane will take off for the first time in the coming weeks as it aims for a world record attempt with a target speed of 300+ MPH (480+ KMPH) . The exciting project will be carbon neutral and to support this groundbreaking innovation Jaguar Land Rover is lending zero-emission fully electric Jaguar I-PACE cars as towing and assistance vehicles. The aircraft was created by the ACCEL program, short for “Accelerating the Electrification of Flight,” which includes key partners YASA, the manufacturer of electric motors and controllers, and the aerospace startup Electroflight.
Half of the funding for the project is provided by the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI), in partnership with the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and Innovate UK. The ACCEL team continued to innovate while respecting social distancing and other UK government health guidelines.
Rob Watson, Director of Rolls-Royce Electrical, said: “Rolls-Royce and Jaguar Land Rover are British pioneers who focus on advancing electrical technology for their respective industries. We are delighted that Jaguar Land Rover is lending us I-PACE vehicles as part of our development offering for the world’s fastest all-electric aircraft. It is important for us that the ACCEL program is carbon neutral and this will be supported by fully electric cars for ground assistance. “
The “Spirit of Innovation” comprises an electric propulsion system delivering 500 hp + with the most powerful battery ever assembled for an aircraft providing enough energy to power 250 homes or travel from London to Paris on a single charge.
The I-PACE uses two electric motors producing a total of 394 hp with power supplied by a state-of-the-art 90 kWh lithium-ion battery with 432 pocket cells. Coincidentally, the I-PACE is able to travel 292 miles (WLTP) on a single charge – exactly the distance by road from London to Paris.
Rawdon Glover, MD, Jaguar Land Rover UK, said: “I-PACE is a true pioneer; when launched in 2018, it was the world’s first all-electric premium SUV, making Jaguar a leader in electrification and putting the brand on the all-electric path by 2025. We are delighted to Supporting another great British pioneer Rolls -Royce and his team as a ‘Spirit of Innovation’ aircraft bring electrified aviation into the nation’s psyche with this incredible 300mph record attempt. “
The ACCEL project is part of Rolls-Royce’s journey to enable the sectors in which it operates to achieve net zero carbon by 2050. It will use technology from the ACCEL project and apply it to products for the market, bringing a portfolio of engines, power electronics and batteries in the general aerospace, urban air mobility and small commuter aircraft sectors.
Likewise, the experiences of the Jaguar Racing Formula E team on the track are helping to drive concrete improvements in Jaguar’s electric road vehicles. Several members of the ACCEL project team come from Formula E circles.
Rolls-Royce and Jaguar Land Rover are both dedicated to decarbonizing their footprint. Rolls-Royce has halved greenhouse gas emissions associated with operations and facilities since 2014 and is on track to meet the 2030 goal of net zero emissions from its operations.
It is also committed to ensuring that its new products are compatible with net zero operation by 2030, and all products will be compatible with net zero by 2050.
Jaguar Land Rover aims to achieve net zero carbon emissions across its supply chain, products and operations by 2039.
The ACCEL project represents a series of firsts for Rolls-Royce, including being the first Rolls-Royce project to use offsetting to make the entire program carbon neutral.
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