An intriguing showdown between an electric car and an ultra-light electric aircraft unfolded during the ‘E-Flight Challenge 2023', captivating audiences with a display of technological prowess and eco-friendly innovation. The Lucid Air sedan, representing electric cars, took on the Elektra Solar plane in a race to cover a distance that marked a notable achievement in electric flight.
The existing record, established by the Pipistrel Velis Elektro in 2020, stood at 30 minutes of flight time, covering 200 kilometers after multiple stops for charging that spanned three days. In a bid to surpass this milestone in a single day, project partners Elektra Solar and Lucid Motors joined forces. It's noteworthy that, even back in 2020, an electric car could have potentially completed the route within the same timeframe.
Under the theme “Factor 5 in 3 Years,” the event aimed to highlight the significant advancements in range and technology achieved in electric transportation over the years, both on the road and in the air.
Lift off! Start of #EFlightChallenge2023 from Gelnhausen (Frankfurt) to Norderney. Let's see who will be first at Norderney @LucidMotors @ewrflight @Elektro_Robin @4x4electricnl @ChrstnWhrht pic.twitter.com/IOsO5fk5Lt
— Morell Westermann (@morellwest) August 29, 2023
The competition commenced on August 29, with the starting point in Gelnhausen, Hesse, and the finishing line on the picturesque North Sea island of Norderney. The Lucid Air navigated the roads while the Elektra Solar plane soared above. The organizers took into account various variables such as ground traffic, air currents, potential diversions, and flight path restrictions, ensuring a fair competition for both contenders.
As the race concluded, the Lucid Air emerged as the winner by a narrow margin. The electric car arrived on Norderney approximately thirty minutes ahead of the Elektra Trainer aircraft. The outcome was determined by the timing of a ferry crossing: the Lucid Air reached the ferry departure point a mere three minutes before the ferry's departure, with only a few kilometers of range remaining. Had the car not made this crucial connection, requiring a stop for recharging as per the rules, the aircraft might have claimed victory.
The ‘E-Flight Challenge 2023' concluded with the Lucid Air securing its position as a testament to electric vehicle achievements, showcasing the advancements in electric mobility over recent years. The event not only celebrated technological innovation but also underscored the growing feasibility of sustainable transportation alternatives, offering the potential for a more environmentally conscious future.