Bay Area Company's Plane Flies Emission Free

NBC Universal, Inc.

The Bay Area has, for years, gotten used to seeing emission-free cars driving around.

Think Tesla, the Nissan Leaf, the Chevrolet Bolt and others.

ZeroAvia wants to add its name to the green list — from a much loftier position.

Based in Hollister, ZeroAvia recently completed the first hydrogen fuel cell-powered flight of a commercial aircraft ever. Six people flew emission free, and the company said it's just the start.

"It's a commercially available aircraft that we have re-powered using our engine technology," ZeroAvia CEO Val Miftakhov said.

Like electric car batteries, the cells powering the plane are getting more powerful — think longer flights — and less expensive. That's a combination necessary to achieve ZeroAvia's goal of flying a commercial jetliner with 100 passengers on board, completely emission free, by 2030. 

Miftakhov said as the fuel cell technology improves, "the transition will be much quicker." 

The world will soon see more of these flights, Miftakhov said, and that, like all the electric vehicles people see on the road, will bring trust. 

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