Bill Gates, Amazon and British Airways are backing a hydrogen plane startup


A California-based startup that promises to make zero-carbon flight a reality has just received a major vote of confidence.

ZeroAvia, a company developing hydrogen-electric technology to power aircraft, said Wednesday that it’s raised $21.4 million from investors including Amazon (AMZN), Shell (RDSB) and Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a company established by Bill Gates in 2015.

It has also secured $16.3 million from the UK government and is partnering with British Airways to help the airline speed up the switch from fossil fuels to hydrogen to power its fleet. Taken together, three-year-old ZeroAvia has announced new funding of $37.7 million in less than a week.
CEO Val Miftakhov said in a statement that the “milestone achievements are closing the gap for the airline industry to begin its transition away from fossil fuels.”

“Both aviation and the financial markets are waking up to the idea that hydrogen is the only meaningful path towards large-scale, zero-emission commercial flight,” he added.
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