New Zealand's "first electric plane" is being launched today at Christchurch airport.
The plane is a battery-electric two-seat light sport aircraft manufactured by Slovenian aircraft company Pipistrel and had begun demonstration flights from Christchurch.
ElectricAir founder Gary Freedman, who brought the plane to New Zealand, said he got the idea to trial an electric plane in New Zealand in 2016.
"I was driving an electric car but flying a petrol plane - it just wasn't good enough," he said.
"On the pretence of a family holiday in Slovenia, I visited the Pipistrel factory and flew in the Alpha Electro – I was hooked."
Freedman said it is the country's first electric plane.
He received support from the Christchurch City Council and Christchurch Agency for Energy Trust to pursue the idea.
Electric charging infrastructure had also been installed at Christchurch Airport, with ElectricAir being the first user.
"We use electricity to power jet aircraft while they're parked on the ground, we offer EV and e-Bike charging stations, so installing e-plane charging infrastructure was a natural next step," said the Airport's General Manager of Strategy and Sustainability Rhys Boswel.
Designed as a training aircraft, it would be available for people wanting to experience electric flight and learn to fly in a more sustainable way.
The battery on the Pipistrel Alpha Electro lasted up to 90 minutes and could be recharged in under an hour.
It was about 70 per cent quieter than equivalent fossil-fuelled aircraft.
The plane would operate from Christchurch Airport and Rangiora Airfield.
Freedman said New Zealand was an ideal location to operate electric aircraft, with one of the highest rates of short-haul flights per person of any country in the world and an electricity grid powered from predominantly renewable sources.