On July 16, 2018, at the sidelines of the Farnborough International Airshow 2018, Rolls-Royce announced having received  the UK government’s funding to carry out research aimed at accelerating the adoption of all-electric propulsion in aviation.

The potentially ground-breaking research is to be conducted together with Rolls-Royce new partners – YASA, manufacturer of high-power, light weight electric motors and controllers, and Electroflight UK, specializing in high performance electric powertrains production.

“We are delighted to be leading this research partnership,”said Rob Watson, Director of Electrical, Rolls-Royce.“We are already investigating the potential of hybrid-electric propulsion, building on our existing expertise in applications such as hybrid trains and gas turbine-powered naval vessels, but this funding from the UK Government will enable us to explore the potential of all-electric flight,”

“The increased use of electrical systems is an inescapable trend in our markets and championing electrification is a core part of our long-term strategy at Rolls-Royce,” stated the British engineering company.

The project, known as Accelerating the Electrification of Flight (ACCEL), was initially launched to explore the use of a high power electrical system, and eventually build a small electrically powered aircraft within 24 months.

At the Farnborough International Airshow, Rolls-Royce is also showcasing a hybrid electric vertical take-off and landing (EVTOL) vehicle concept which could be adapted for personal transport, public transport, logistics and even military applications and take to the skies in the early 2020s.