Nor­way’s Elfly Group has gained a USD8 mil­lion grant from Eno­va SF, the country’s Min­istry of Cli­mate and Envi­ron­ment Agency, “to forge ahead” with the pro­duc­tion of its full-scale pro­to­type of an all-elec­tric com­mer­cial sea­plane called The Noe­mi, reports a press release.

This award under­lines the Nor­we­gian Government’s com­mit­ment to a low emis­sion soci­ety and its ambi­tion to make domes­tic fly­ing emis­sion free by 2040. Hav­ing been award­ed already more than USD10 mil­lion in soft fund­ing, along with a sim­i­lar amount from ear­ly investors, Elfly can now move for­ward with its devel­op­ment progress at its Jarls­berg, Nor­way facil­i­ty.

Eric Lithun, Elfly’s CEO, com­ment­ed, “Our team is delight­ed by the recog­ni­tion and endorse­ment of Noe­mi by the Agency and for view­ing the busi­ness as a viable pro­gram.”

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Backed by Norway’s Inno­va­tion Research Foun­da­tion, SINTEF, Noe­mi is being designed for flex­i­ble region­al mobil­i­ty in Nor­way and the pro­to­type (non-pas­sen­ger ver­sion) is being pre­pared for its first flight in 2025. The sea­plane is being designed for 200km com­mer­cial air jour­neys, fly­ing at up to 250kmh, from 2030.

The plane will car­ry from nine to 13 peo­ple and be pow­ered by two elec­tric motors with up to 1MW com­bined out­put and lithi­um bat­ter­ies. It will have an unpres­surised cab­in, big win­dows and a large access door. Fol­low­ing the selec­tion of U.S‑based Elec­tric Pow­er Sys­tems (EPS) as its bat­tery sup­pli­er, Elfly’s next pri­or­i­ty is to con­firm the engine provider.

The company’s vision is to oper­ate 15 Noe­mi seaplane’s under its own Air Oper­a­tor Cer­tifi­cate (AOC). Elfly is focus­ing on the home mar­ket first and cre­at­ing its own infra­struc­ture around the 1,000 plus fjords and 450,000 lakes. As 80 per­cent of the world pop­u­la­tion lives close to water, the com­pa­ny then intends to explore oppor­tu­ni­ties in oth­er “short hop mar­kets.”

Eric Lithun

Lithun con­tin­ued, “Many Nor­we­gians live by fjords and lakes, but need access to hos­pi­tals, big cities and con­nec­tions to the world.  Our fjords can be turned into poten­tial (float­ing) air­ports with­out destroy­ing nature.  While the coun­try is home to 5.5 mil­lion peo­ple, we con­sume 10 times more trav­el — the equiv­a­lent of a pop­u­la­tion of 55 mil­lion.”

Elfly will be par­tic­i­pat­ing at Norway’s Green Avi­a­tion Con­fer­ence ZERAC23 on Sep­tem­ber 20th at Sen­tal­en, Oslo.

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(Images: Elfly Group)