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I see this EASA publication about the Pipistrel Velis Electro being certified on 2020(almost 4 years now). Is there any electric aircraft certified by the FAA? and if not is there any reason why not after EASA already certified 4 years ago or is just no manufacturer has applied for electric aircraft certification with the FAA?

P.S.: Can the Pipistrel Velis Electro currently fly in the USA?

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Is there any electric aircraft certified by the FAA? It depends on your definition of "aircraft." The FAA has certified several unmanned electric aircraft such as the Matternet M2, Aerovironment PUMA AE, and Airobotics OPTIMUS 1-EX. However, no manned electric aircraft has been certified at this time.

It's not for lack of interest from manufacturers. There are many companies working towards certifying electric aircraft. Pipistrel has applied for FAA approval and is working towards a certification. The issue is that this is a new type of aircraft (or at least propulsion) and the FAA works slowly. In addition to the usual concerns of certification, the FAA would probably like to avoid any high-profile issues, as recent history has shown how quickly people can lose trust, especially with a new technology like electric aircraft.

Can the Pipistrel Velis Electro currently fly in the USA? It depends on your definition of "fly." It's already flying in the US under experimental rules. It would need FAA certification to fly commercially though. The US Air Force will also be experimenting with it, which also doesn't necessarily require FAA certification.

The FAA has been working towards rule changes for smaller aircraft that would make it easier to certify them, including these kinds of electric aircraft. Another type of electric aircraft with lots of interest is eVTOL (electric Vertical Take Off and Landing) and the FAA is looking at creating a new category to certify those.

And it's not just the FAA that's moving slowly. The Velis Electro is apparently still the only electric aircraft with EASA certification. A lot has been going on in the world in the last 4 years and continues to occur. Yet still technology moves much faster than regulations and as both continue to advance there will likely be more electric aircraft being certified. Not as soon as many would like, but with time the industry will grow.

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It seems the eFlyer 2 is working on FAA certification. This article from a year ago seems to imply that it is on track to be the first.

Per 14 CFR § 21.190, it should be possible to register one in the US in the LSA category since the US has a bilateral agreement with the EU.

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  • $\begingroup$ I’ve seen those guys from by aerospace, and to be honest with you, they’re more courting investors that really trying to achieve anything. They have been claiming that airplane will be certified next year for the past five years. they’re stuck in a situation where their bets on battery technology did not live up to actual progress, and as a result, they have an airplane with hamstrung capabilities and nowhere to take the investment. $\endgroup$ Jan 30 at 22:35

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