As it moves closer to commercialization of its hydrogen-electric technology, ZeroAvia (earlier post) has secured a new raise of $35 million to help develop its 2-5MW zero-emission powertrain system for regional aviation. United Airlines has invested in ZeroAvia through this round, an agreement with United anticipates an order for 50 ZA2000-RJ engines, with an option for 50 more.
The ZA2000 engine family is being designed to be capable of producing between 2,000 and 5,000 kilowatts of power with a 500-mile range.
United joins an already announced new investor, Alaska Air Group (earlier post), in this round, alongside existing investors Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund, AP Ventures, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Horizons Ventures, Summa Equity, and Shell Ventures. This brings the company’s total investment to date up to $115 million.
ZeroAvia is on track to achieve commercialization for its hydrogen propulsion technology in 2024. Initially, the company is targeting a 500-mile range in a 10-20 seat aircraft used for commercial passenger transport, package delivery, agriculture, and beyond. This funding round targets the next segment of 40-80 seat aircraft, targeting turboprops by 2026 and regional jets by 2028. The funding will also allow ZeroAvia to further ramp up presence across its US, UK, and continental Europe locations.
Hydrogen-electric engines are one of the most promising paths to zero-emission air travel for smaller aircraft, and this investment will keep United out in front on this important emerging technology. United continues to look for opportunities to not only advance our own sustainability initiatives, but also identify and help technologies and solutions that the entire industry can adopt.—Scott Kirby, CEO of United
ZeroAvia said that it has made significant progress towards achieving its goal of zero-emission aviation over the past few weeks. This investment round follows significant commercial momentum for the company, including partnerships with Alaska Airlines, Rose Cay, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, ASL Aviation Holdings, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Regional Jet division and Rotterdam the Hague Airport.