Future Innovation - A flying taxi service

4 September 2017

If you thought Uber was game-changing for the transport industry - you may want to sit down for this.


We're going to take a look at the maiden flight of the first zero-emission electric plane, capable of Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) - the Lilium Jet.

Just a few days ago, the Lilium Jet completed its first series of flight tests in the skies above Germany. Its ability to take off vertically and then transition into wing-borne forward flight makes it the first of its kind.

Parent company Lilium already has plans to move beyond the two-seater prototype and develop a larger, five-seater version of the Jet, designed for on-demand air taxi and ridesharing service. 

Yes, you read that right - a flying taxi service, complete with an app.

The Lilium Jet is 100% electrically powered and is the only electric aircraft capable of both VTOL and jet-powered flight, using its wings for lift, similar to a conventional airplane. The company's website claims this "advanced capability consumes around 90% less energy than drone-style aircraft, enabling the Lilium Jet to achieve a range of more than 300 km with a maximum cruising speed of 300 km/h". 

It also says that while in flight, the jet will consume comparable power consumption per km to that of an electric car. 

Once upon a time, a flying taxi would be considered nothing more than an exaggerated plot-line for some sci-fi film. Now, it's hovering right on our horizon.

By the way, to be fair to Uber we should mention it's been rumoured that the mega-transport company is looking into its own version of a flying car.

Watch this airspace.



Innovation at Origin

We're committed to helping secure a cleaner energy supply because we want a cleaner, better future for all Australians and the planet. Here’s a few examples of how we're focussing on energy innovation and leading the way to a clean energy future.

Correct as of 17 August 2017

1. We're trialling next gen home energy solutions

In collaboration with California-based tech start-up Bidgely, Origin will shortly begin trialing the new solution with 5,000 customers in Victoria, providing them with a rare insight into where energy is being used in their household and helping them to manage their energy costs.

2. We've launched O Hub

Our Bidgely trial (see above) is one of the first projects being run out of O hub - a new office in Melbourne where Origin people are co-located with Australian tech start-ups, which is dedicated to rapidly prototyping, developing and trialing new customer solutions.

3. We co-founded Free Electrons

Origin is a proud co-founder of Free Electrons – a global accelerator bringing together eight forward-thinking utilities and 12 leading start-ups in renewables, smart grids, electric vehicles and home energy management.

4. We've established a presence in Silicon Valley

Origin is establishing a presence in Palo Alto, California – helping facilitate our access to the vibrant Silicon Valley start-up community.

5. We're supporting clean energy innovation

Principal sponsor of EnergyLab – the new home for clean energy innovation and Australian Energy technology start ups, which is located at the University of Technology, Sydney.

6. We mean business when it comes to climate change

We have committed to closing our single coal-fired power station, Eraring in NSW, at the end of its life in the 2030s and are accelerating our investment in renewables. Origin was the world’s first energy company to sign up to seven initiatives of the We Mean Business coalition, a worldwide group of NGOs, signatory companies and institutional investors committed to limiting climate change impacts to 2oC. Read more about it here.

7. We’re already making big leaps in renewable energy

Origin is one of Australia’s largest supporters of renewable energy, with a portfolio of more than 700MW of owned or contracted renewable energy. We have invested in wind generation for more than a decade and by 2020, we intend to add up to 1500 MW of new, large-scale renewable energy to our portfolio. In the past year, we have signed a series of long-term agreements to buy the power produced by solar farms across Australia including:

  • the 220 MW Bungala solar project near Port Augusta;
  • the 150MW Daydream solar farm in north Queensland;
  • the 56 MW Moree solar farm in NSW;
  • the 100 MW Clare solar farm in Queensland;
  • the 10.8 MW Lakeland solar project in Queensland, which also incorporates 5.3 MWh of battery storage.

9. We are one of the largest providers of green energy in Australia

We have more than 150,000 green energy customer accounts, making us one of the largest Australian providers of GreenPower and Green Gas products. Green power is energy sourced from government accredited renewable power sources.

10. We’re solar experts

We have 410,000+ Origin electricity customers with rooftop solar installed who receive feed-in tariffs for the extra solar energy they produce. Origin is also Australia’s second largest installer of residential solar systems, having directly sold and installed around 85,000 residential solar systems.

11. We believe a balanced supply is important

Gas will be the key to managing the transition to lower carbon and providing reliability and affordability as renewable energy grows. Origin’s generation portfolio consists of mainly gas-fired power stations, which are lower emissions and can be started more quickly than coal to step in and provide electricity when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing. We’ll keep doing what we can to decarbonise our energy supply and economy, while making sure our responsibilities as the largest energy provider in Australia are met at all times

 


More about the author

Jordaine leads Origin’s Social Media Content by day and runs her own fashion news outlet, The Modern Black, by night. The former newspaper and television journalist loves to play with words and has a passion for finding new ways to change the world for the better ... one little step at a time. 

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