- The startup ZeroAvia is developing technology to power airplanes with hydrogen fuel cells.
- It recently won backing from Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Amazon, and Shell.
- Major challenges lie in the path to hydrogen-powered flight. ZeroAvia says it’s eating away at them.
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When hydrogen gas inside the Hindenburg exploded in 1937, the era of airship travel came to an end.
Now the very same gas is reentering the aviation industry. And this time it’s kicking off a new era — one of zero-carbon travel.
Hydrogen can be used in fuel cells to power electric motors or combusted to drive an engine. Either way, the gas doesn’t generate carbon emissions if it’s made using renewable energy.
That’s why investors have been hunting for hydrogen startups to fund, with some of the biggest names landing on one that appears to be leading the race