The developer of hydrogen aircraft ZeroAvia raised $ 21.4 million in a new investment round. Among other things, oil and gas group Shell provided new capital to enable the company to further develop its emission-free aircraft. The largest contribution to the investment round was Bill Gates’ Fund.
ZeroAvia develops relatively small hydrogen-powered aircraft, which for the time being are primarily intended for shorter local flights. The American startup has so far completed ten test flights with its six-seat aircraft.
Hydrogen is considered a potential clean substitute for fossil fuel in aviation, provided that the electricity used to produce it comes from renewable sources. For the time being, the production of hydrogen, which is produced by electrolysis of water, is very expensive. “This is a capital-intensive industry, so it is very important to investors,” says CEO Val Miftakhov of ZeroAvia.
The first commercially viable aircraft will be used mainly for cargo flights, followed by passenger flights. The company aims to carry out flights of about 800 km in three years with aircraft with 10 to 20 seats. By 2030, flights with 200 passengers should be possible over distances of up to 5,000 kilometres.
In addition to Shell, which invested Shell Ventures through its investment fund, Amazon also invested money in ZeroAvia. Together with previous financing rounds, the airline has now raised a total of 34.4 million dollars from investors.