United and Alaska Airlines invest in hydrogen-electric engines

Hydrogen-electric engine developer ZeroAvia has raised an additional $35 million, with United Airlines and Alaska Air Group as new investors. 

The new funds bring the company’s total investment to date to $115 million. 

As part of its investment, United says it has a conditional purchase agreement for 50 of ZeroAvia’s zero-emission hydrogen-electric engines with an option for 50 more. 

  • Related: United agrees to buy $1B of electric commuter aircraft

The engines could be retrofitted to existing United Express aircraft as early as 2028, United said. One potential use is on United’s CRJ-550, a 50-seat aircraft that offers first-class seating.

Hydrogen-electric engines use electricity created by a chemical reaction in a fuel cell to power an electric motor instead of burning fossil fuel. 

United and Alaska join existing investors Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund, AP Ventures, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Horizons Ventures, Summa Equity and Shell Ventures. 

Specific company investments were not disclosed.

Source: Business Travel News

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