In a way, they’re both winners, even though the car was there first. The aircraft could have won if it weren’t for the overwhelming enthusiasm of the visitors, fans, and media in Oerlinghausen: On August 29, 2023, at 11:15 a.m., it all started at Gelnhausen Airport: The ultimate e-car, „Lucid Air,“ against the first UL-category certified e-aircraft, „Elektra Solar.“ The goal? The airport on the North Sea island of Norderney.
The Challengers: Lucid Air Dream and Elektra Solar
The Lucid Air, an electric car from Lucid Motors, went up against the Elektra Trainer, the fully electric aircraft from Elektra Solar GmbH, currently pushing the boundaries of e-aviation. Both companies represent significant progress in electromobility, setting new standards for efficiency and sustainability. „Factor 5 in 3 years.“
The Starting Shot in Gelnhausen
The race began east of Frankfurt at Gelnhausen Airport, where both participants prepared for takeoff. Due to weather conditions, the aircraft’s initial departure from Memmingen had to be relocated to its first planned charging station. The excitement among the spectators before the start was palpable: Who will reach Norderney first? The e-car with an 880km range or the e-aircraft? What makes this race unique is that just a few days earlier, Memmingen Airport was the planned starting point. However, adverse weather conditions necessitated a change in the race’s starting location to adapt to the weather conditions. Shortly before the bad weather front arrived, the race was able to commence in Gelnhausen.
Half an hour before the Elektra Trainer, the e-car reached the island of Norderney. This achievement by the Lucid Air Dream Edition, despite being bound to the ground and subject to traffic regulations, is truly impressive. It’s also worth noting that the electric car had to adhere to the scheduled departure times of the ferry. Three minutes before the 5:00 p.m. ferry departure time, the Lucid Motors team reached the ferry and thus embarked on the journey to the island of Norderney. At 6:13 p.m., the Lucid Air, with less than 10km of remaining range, finally arrived as the winner at Norderney Airport. Shortly thereafter, Uwe Nortmann, the pilot of the Elektra Trainer, arrived at the airport.
Factor 5 in 3 Years
This race between the Lucid Air and the Elektra Trainer highlights the rapid development of electromobility. It’s clear that the future of mobility is electric, both in road transportation and aviation. Electric propulsion and renewable energy sources are becoming increasingly vital in both sectors. This race was an exciting example of how e-mobility can compete in various modes of transportation.
The race between the Lucid Air and the Elektra Trainer was not only thrilling but also pioneering for the future of electromobility. It demonstrates how robust and high-performing e-mobility already is today. With an 886km WLTP range on the road, terms like „range anxiety“ are a thing of the past. With nearly 3 hours of range in the air, electric propulsion has become practical for small aircraft as well. We can’t wait to see what the future holds in this area. It will happen faster than most can imagine!