Optimizing the battery charging and swapping infrastructure for electric short-haul aircraft—The case of electric flight in Norway

Simon van Oosterom*, Mihaela Mitici

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Recent advances in battery technology have opened the possibility for short-haul electric flight. This is particularly attractive for commuter airlines that operate in remote regions such as archipelagos or Nordic fjords where the geography impedes other means of transportation. In this paper we address the question of how to optimize the charging infrastructure (charging power, spare batteries) for an airline when considering a battery swapping system. Our analysis considers the expenditures needed for (i) the significant charging power requirements, (ii) spare aircraft batteries, (iii) the used electricity, and (iv) delay costs, should the infrastructure not be sufficient to accommodate the flight schedule. The main result of this paper is the formulation of this problem as a two-phase recourse model. This is required to account for the variation of the flight schedule throughout a year of operations. With this, both the strategic (infrastructure sizing) and tactical (battery recharge scheduling) planning are addressed The model is applied for Widerøe Airlines, with a network of 7 hub airports and 36 regional airports in Norway. The results show that a total investment of 4412 kW in electricity power supply and 25 spare batteries is needed for the considered network, resulting in a daily investment of €11700. We also quantify the benefits of considering an entire year of operations for our analysis, instead of just one congested day (7% cost reduction) or one average day of operations (31% reduction) at the most congested airport.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104313
Number of pages16
JournalTransportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Battery swapping systems
  • Commuter air transport
  • Electric aviation
  • Infrastructure sizing
  • Scheduling

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