Zero-Emission Aircraft Market to Experience Significant Growth by 2030



The global zeroemission aircraft market size is projected to grow at a CAGR of 20.7% from 2022 to 2030. Zero-emission aircraft make use of energy sources that don’t release any harmful effluents into the environment. They are a viable option to power aircraft amidst rapidly declining reserves of fossil fuels, high operational costs of aircraft, and rising greenhouse effect across the world. Experts continuously develop and test zero-emission aircraft technologies using hydrogen, electricity, and solar cells. Companies, such as magniX, ZeroAvia, Inc., and others, have successfully tested their zero-emission aircraft in recent years.

Traditional aircraft contribute significantly to CO2 emissions by burning large amounts of jet fuel, and they also have an impact on the concentration of other gases and pollutants in the atmosphere. The release of such hazardous pollutants causes long-term increases in ozone levels, aerosol sulfur emissions, and water contrails. The release of such pollutants contributes significantly to global warming. These factors necessitate immediate action by aircraft industry leaders (Airbus, Boeing, and others) to switch to cleaner fuels (hydrogen or battery packs); government regulations to control the emissions caused by today’s aircraft; and policies that create a favorable environment for the introduction of carbon-neutral aircraft in the future.

To combat rising CO2 and other harmful emissions from currently operating airplanes, governments worldwide are developing roadmaps to reduce pollution caused by kerosene-fueled aircraft. For instance, South Korea, Germany, the U.S., and France have formulated strategic plans regarding the transition to electric/hydrogen-based aircraft. Furthermore, various companies worldwide are designing aircraft propelled by batteries, hydrogen, hybrid technologies, and solar cells. Zero-emission aircraft driven by such energy sources can significantly reduce emissions, and platforms like air taxis can make hassle-free city travel a reality in a matter of years. The arrival of such aircraft could reduce our reliance on fossil fuels significantly over time and open up new avenues for sustainable aviation.

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COVID19 Impact on the Global ZeroEmission Aircraft Market

The COVID-19 outbreak has created an unprecedented economic, public health, and logistical challenge worldwide; though, offerings stepped up when COVID-19 struck. In recent months, one of the most significant effects of the COVID-19 has been a decrease in the adoption of AI technologies by airports and airlines. For instance, owing to a tremendous reduction in air traffic, several airlines and airports might delay the deployment of several AI technologies. This hampers the installation of AI in the aerospace sector globally.

In North America and Europe, the customer trend has experienced a decline since mid-March 2020, owing to the COVID-19 crisis. However, most Asian countries have maintained or increased their level of optimism. Many consumers across various countries expect a decrease in income, while some consumers in China and India are expecting an increase in income.

Global ZeroEmission Aircraft Market Dynamics

DriversReduced GHG emissions

Compared to jet fuel and sustainable aviation fuels (advanced aviation biofuel types used in jet aircraft), using electric energy, hydrogen fuel, and solar energy to power zero-emission aircraft will drastically reduce global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. We can use hydrogen as a source of energy in two different ways. In the case of fuel-cell propulsion, the aircraft’s gaseous emissions are limited to water vapor, which is produced as a byproduct of the energy production process. Similarly, aircraft powered by solar energy and electric batteries are carbon neutral. The introduction of such zero-emission aircraft is expected to result in future aviation operations that are cleaner, quieter, and more sustainable.

RestraintsTechnological challenges associated with the solar, electric, and hydrogenpowered aircraft

Zero-emission aircraft have a bright future ahead of them, thanks to low operating costs, zero carbon emissions, and the ability to fly on abundant power sources like hydrogen and solar energy. Engineers must develop innovative technologies to recognize challenges such as weight-to-energy ratios associated with electric planes, less solar energy captured by solar cells mounted on a solar plane, and low energy density of hydrogen while receiving massive support from governments and associations around the world.

Because the sun and the plane are constantly moving through the atmosphere on solar aircraft, the angle of capture for the sun to hit the solar panels is extremely irregular. Solar panels do not collect much energy as a result of this. Currently, solar-powered planes capture only about 10-20% of the sun’s energy.

OpportunitiesProactive government initiatives toward zeroemission powered aircraft

Switching from kerosene to hydrogen or battery-powered planes will take a lot of political willpower from governments worldwide. Various governments have developed policies and a roadmap to support hydrogen-based aviation infrastructure in their respective countries to lower global carbon emissions. The Department of Defense (DOD) and the United States Department of Energy (DOE) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on July 22, 2010, to coordinate efforts to improve the nation’s energy security and establish federal leadership in the transition to a low-carbon economy. Manufacturing is installing advanced fuel cells for secondary power in ground support equipment at airports, and onboard DOD aircraft is expected to be one of the highlights of the MOU.

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Scope of the ZeroEmission Aircraft

The study categorizes the zero-emission aircraft market based on source, application, range, and type at the regional and global levels.

By Source Outlook (Thousand Units, Revenue, USD Million, 20172030)

  • Hydrogen
  • Electric 
  • Solar

By Application Outlook (Thousand Units, Revenue, USD Million, 20172030)

  • Passenger Aircraft
  • Cargo Aircraft

By Range Outlook (Thousand Units, Revenue, USD Million, 20172030)

  • Short-Haul
  • Medium-Haul
  • Long-Haul

By Type Outlook (Thousand Units, Revenue, USD Million, 20172030)

  • Turboprop Rear Bulkhead
  • Turbofan System
  • Blended Wing Body

By Region Outlook (Thousand Units, Revenue, USD Million, 20172030)

  • North America (US, Canada, Mexico)
  • South America (Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Rest of Latin America)
  • Europe (Germany, Italy, France, UK, Spain, Poland, Russia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Rest of Europe)
  • Asia Pacific (China, Japan, India, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, the Philippines, Singapore, Australia & New Zealand, Rest of Asia Pacific)
  • The Middle East & Africa (Saudi Arabia, UAE, South Africa, Northern Africa, Rest of MEA)

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By source, the hydrogen segment is projected to account for the largest market share 

The zero-emission market has been segmented into hydrogen, electric, and solar by source. In 2021, Hydrogen had the largest market share and accounted for the 94.5% of the market share. Hydrogen is a clean fuel that produces just water when burned in a fuel cell. Hydrogen can be made from a wide range of resources, for instance, biomass, natural gas, and renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power. These features make it a desirable fuel for transportation, including air travel.

In recent years, small and big companies have started the R&D for hydrogen-powered aircraft, and a few have even tested their prototypes. For instance, in September 2020, ZeroAvia, Inc. completed its first hydrogen-powered flight. Airbus S.A.S. revealed three hydrogen-powered concepts for the world’s first zero-emission commercial aircraft, which could enter service by 2035. In addition, several companies, such as Cummins Inc., are designing fuel cells to power hydrogen aircraft for the future. Such developments are expected to boost the segment’s growth during the forecast timeframe.

Asia Pacific accounts for the highest CAGR during the forecast period 

Based on the regions, the global zero-emission aircraft market has been segmented across North America, Asia-Pacific, Europe, South America, and the Middle East & Africa. The Asia-Pacific zero-emission aircraft market is expected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. This is attributed to the rise in R&D for developing hydrogen-based aircraft in prominent countries such as China, Australia, South Korea, and others. Governments of China and South Korea are taking several initiatives to switch the usage of kerosene to hydrogen for next-generation aircraft, which is anticipated to increase the pace of developments and advancements in the hydrogen aircraft market in the region in the future.

Asia-Pacific possesses high growth potential for the hydrogen aircraft market, owing to a rapid rise in product development of hydrogen aircraft in countries such as China, South Korea, and Australia. Several government initiatives for the development of hydrogen aircraft infrastructure are expected to boost the growth of the hydrogen aircraft market in this region. For instance, in January 2019, the Korean government revealed the road map of the hydrogen economy to make an ecosystem of hydrogen industry, including energy production, storage, transportation, safety, and harnessing its use.

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Key Market Players

The zero-emission aircraft market is mildly concentrated, with few global players operating in the market such as Airbus S.A.S., Bye Aerospace, AeroDelft, Eviation Aircraft, Lilium, Pipistrel d.o.o, Wright Electric, HES Energy Systems Joby Aviation, and ZeroAvia, Inc. Every company follows its business strategy to attain the maximum market share.

Recent Developments

  • In February 2021, AeroDelft revealed the finished structure of its prototype airplane called Phoenix PT, which is powered by liquid hydrogen.
  • In June 2021, Airbus and Groupe ADP signed a memorandum of understanding (MoUto prepare for the onset of hydrogen in airports by 2035, in line with the development of hydrogenpowered commercial aircraft.
  • In April 2021, L3Harris Technologies and Bye Aerospace signed an agreement to develop an allelectric, multimission aircraft that will deliver intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISRcapabilities for domestic and international ISR mission operators.
  • In June 2021, Joby Aviation entered into a partnership with REEF Technology and Neighborhood Property Group to develop takeoff and landing spots for its aerial ridesharing services to be launched in 2024.

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