May 13, 2018 | Israeli startup Eviation Aircraft, a company building an electric nine-seat airplane, was selected as the winner of the transportation category of Fast Company’s 2018 World Changing Ideas Awards last month. “Twelve companies, initiatives, concepts and projects poised to help shift society to a more sustainable and more equitable future” were chosen by Fast Company from nearly 1,400 entries for 12 different categories. Eviation Aircraft’s plane, called the Alice Commuter, expects to begin making its first commercial flights in 2021. According to Fast Company, the startup has decided to go all-electric for its first plane because they believe it will make flights more affordable. Tickets for flights are expected to cost less than driving or taking the train. “There is a revolution happening in aviation, and it’s happening because of lightweight materials, energy density of batteries, the power of electric propulsion, and the computer power of managing this together,” says Omer Bar-Yohay, co-founder, and CEO of Eviation Aircraft told Fast Company. The company has been building this full-scale aircraft since mid-2017 and will start to take test flights with it in 2019. The plane is designed to be as comfortable as flying on a private jet so passengers won’t mind the small size. The company hopes that people will use the planes to fly between smaller airports but hopes that over time that bigger airlines would use the planes for short flights, with more direct flights between smaller cities. Bar-Yohay says larger planes (carrying 19 passengers) and smaller vertical takeoff planes for urban transportation will also be in the works in the future. Eviation Aircraft was founded in 2016 and is based in Kadima in central Israel.