Electric and hybrid-electric propulsion is rapidly revolutionising mobility technologies across industries, from automotive to marine. And the aviation industry is no exception. At Airbus, our work in electric flight aims to lay the groundwork for future industry-wide adoption and regulatory acceptance of alternative-propulsion commercial aircraft and urban air vehicles.

On the path to low-carbon flight


A range of technologies are required in order to meet the aviation industry's decarbonisation ambition. These include improving operations and infrastructure; deploying sustainable aviation fuel (SAF); and innovating through technology. 

Radical shifts with new concepts in propulsion will continue to be developed, such as hybrid powered aircraft. It is a major challenge that the industry will answer collectively with engine manufacturers and other industries such as automotive. In November 2022, Airbus and Renault Group signed a research and development agreement which aims to leverage synergies to accelerate both companies’ electrification roadmaps. In June 2023, Airbus and STMicroelectronics signed an agreement to advance research on the next-generation of semiconductors, which are a key enabler of the aerospace industry’s transition to hybrid and full-electric aircraft like the ZEROe roadmap or the CityAirbus NextGen.

Energy is central to how we transform the aeronautics industry to achieve our decarbonisation ambition by 2050. The transformation follows two axes: Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) use increase and new electrical sources (battery and fuel cell). Hybridisation makes use of different energy sources. This combination helps optimise the overall energy efficiency of a flight and reduce fuel consumption.

Aircraft hybridisation principles


In a hybrid configuration, the aircraft uses several energy sources in flight, either in tandem or alternately. The combination of energy sources - jet fuel or sustainable aviation fuels with electricity - enables us to optimise overall energy efficiency and reduce fuel consumption.

Hybridisation leads to better energy management with the benefits of reducing fuel consumption by up to 5% compared to a standard flight. 

The electrical sources could come from batteries or fuel cells which convert hydrogen into electricity. In November 2022, Airbus unveiled its fuel cell-powered engine.

In flight, the aircraft uses several energy sources, either in tandem or alternately. The combination of energy sources - jet fuel or sustainable aviation fuels with electricity - enables us to optimise overall energy efficiency and reduce fuel consumption.

A timeline of achievements in electric propulsion


In 2010, Airbus embarked on its electrification journey, developing the world’s first all-electric, four-engined aerobatic aircraft, CriCri. Since then, we have made significant progress in the electrification of flight thanks to our all-electric, twin-propeller aircraft E-Fan and our electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) demonstrator projects, Vahana and CityAirbus NextGen. E-Fan X, the successor to E-Fan has provided invaluable insights on serial hybrid-electric propulsion.


Our electric flight projects


Hybrid aircraft

A stepping stone to decarbonising aviation

Hybrid-electric propulsion is an incremental step that can improve the energy efficiency of every aircraft class.


A new flying laboratory

DisruptiveLab will evaluate a new aerodynamic architecture as well as pursuing the implementation of hybridisation, with a fully parallel hybrid propulsion system that enables the battery to be recharged in-flight.

 CityAirbus - the next generation

CityAirbus NextGen

Safe, sustainable and integrated urban air mobility

This all-electric, four-seat multicopter demonstrator focuses on advancing remotely piloted vertical take-off and landing flight (eVTOLs). 



A new approach to distributed propulsion for aircraft

EcoPulse is a distributed hybrid-propulsion aircraft demonstrator developed in partnership with Daher and Safran with the support of France’s CORAC and DGAC.



Our single-seat eVTOL demonstrator

Concluded in 2019, this all-electric, single-seat, tilt-wing vehicle demonstrator focused on advancing self-piloted, electric vertical take-off and landing flight (eVTOL).


Air Race E

The world's first all-electric airplane race

Latest news

Paving the way for sustainable aerospace in Latin America
Fostering initiatives and partnerships across the region, here's a glimpse at how the Company has embarked on this journey in Latin America.
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The EcoPulse aircraft demonstrator makes first hybrid-electric flight
EcoPulse has successfully performed its first flight test in hybrid-electric mode.
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EcoPulse demonstrator takes first flight with batteries onboard
Designed to mature the technological bricks of hybrid-electric propulsion systems for future aircraft, EcoPulse reached a milestone when the demonstrator took off on its first test flight.
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Discover Innovation at Airbus



An important decarbonisation pathway

Urban Air Mobility Vehicle - CityAirbusNextGen

Urban Air Mobility

Taking urban transport into the sky

Solar flight

Harvesting the sun’s rays to power aircraft