Since we’ve just had the announcement of the Tesla truck which in some ways is similar, I thought I’d make a comment on here as well.
@hiphopopotamus, the Tesla semi that’s just been announced can charge fully in 30 minutes off the latest generation chargers that are going to be rolled out. Already that’s not too far off the time it takes to fuel up a diesel truck.
I could imagine that a plane with a split battery charge system (charge multiple sets of batteries individually) in the future could be recharged within even the quick 30 minute turnaround times for some planes.
Presuming we can get electric engines to produce the thrust required and we have the batteries to power it, there is a big point that has to be considered. Passenger jets (especially on long haul flights) lose almost half of their weight during the flight. Batteries empty or full weigh (practically) the same amount which limits the range compared to a traditional jet, even if you’ve theoretically got the same amount of energy to play with when you set off.
Hopefully the cost difference between jet fuel and electricity is enough to stop this being a problem when we get that far.
From a quick calculation earlier, kerosene is currently about $0.045/kWh whereas solar bids in Abu Dhabi have got down to around $0.025/kWh recently. I doubt that’s enough but we’re getting there!