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Victoria's Harbour Air receives $1.6M boost for electric planes

Victoria -

British Columbia's Energy Ministry has promised nearly $1.6 million to help fund research into commercial electric planes with seaplane company Harbour Air.

Harbour Air has been working on converting its fleet into electric aircraft since 2019, and the company said earlier this year it was hoping to launch its first commercial electric seaplane by 2023.

"Once proven, the technology supports a switch from fossil fuels to advanced electric technology, and will provide a clean transportation option that reduces pollution and shows the way forward for others in the sector," said B.C. Environment Minister George Heyman in a release Friday.

The nearly $1.6 million in funding for Harbour Air's project comes from the province's CleanBC Go Electric Advanced Research and Commercialization (ARC) program.

In total, the ARC program is contributing $8.18 million to 18 clean energy projects across B.C.

The province says that Harbour Air's project will create 21 jobs as it continues development.

"With support from our CleanBC Go Electric ARC program, Harbour Air's project not only supports our emission-reduction goals, but also creates good-paying clean-tech jobs, exemplifying the opportunities in the low-carbon economy," said B.C. Energy Minister Bruce Ralston.

In 2019, the Victoria-based company conducted the world's first test flight of an all-electric commercial aircraft.

The province noted that Harbour Air uses a fully electric passenger shuttle bus between the Vancouver International Airport and its locations in downtown Vancouver and Richmond.

"It is great to see the province stepping up to support innovation," said Greg McDougall, Harbour Air CEO and e-plane test pilot.

"This type of funding confirms the importance of encouraging companies in all sectors to focus on what they can be doing to look at more sustainable practices," McDougall added. Top Stories

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