Enabling Zero-Emission Aviation with ZeroAvia

Kemble, UK

Zero-Emission Aviation


White Paper


The demand for zero-emission flights intensifies and aviation startup ZeroAvia works together with PowerCell to enable hydrogen-powered commuter aircraft.
Zero-emission flights using hydrogen and fuel cells can potentially eliminate several million tons of yearly CO2 emissions worldwide in short and medium-range flights.


Collaboration for green aviation

Can planes fly without fossil fuels? Yes, they can! However, the alternative propulsion systems must be proven reliable.

The most critical focus when designing for aviation is, of course, safety. Through the collaboration with PowerCell, ZeroAvia aims to enable paying passengers to board zero-emission flights in the near future.

20-seat regional trips are in the short-term roadmap, and plus 100-seat long-distance flights perhaps a decade away. The ZeroAvia solution enables clean aviation by replacing conventional engines with hydrogen-electric powertrains.

With up to 30 times higher specific energy, fuel cells are the most viable solution for zero-emission aviation. Using hydrogen gas and oxygen from the air, fuel cells generate electricity, emitting only heat and water vapor. Combined with green hydrogen produced through electrolysis, powered by locally generated renewable energy like solar and wind, the solution represents a new future for aviation


ZeroAvia started in 2018, and their team of passionate innovators is dedicated to zero-emission aviation, with the mission to place a hydrogen-electric powertrains in every aircraft. They collaborate with aircraft operators, owners and manufacturers to supply zero-emission powertrains and the infrastructure and fuel to power a revolution in green flight.

The solution

In comparison even to heavy-duty road transport, the importance of weight in aviation is exponentially higher. The fuel cell powertrain needs to have a high enough power/weight ratio to meet peak power requirements. ZeroAvia selected PowerCell Group’s technology because of its leading energy density and both organizations are partnering to optimize the weight of the system in the pathway to a final certifiable design.


There are several reasons why the future of aviation lies in fuel cells:

  • A load-following system – reacting faster than a jet engine.
  • Self-serving fuel cell powertrains create a second security level thanks to redundant propulsion systems.
  • Without combustion, no NOx and particles are emitted, which reduces climate warming effects significantly. Read more at www.transportenvironment.org.
  • 30 times higher specific energy in hydrogen compared to lithium-ion batteries.
  • The system can replace conventional engines, creating a scalable solution.

White Paper

Get more in-depth technical insights from the two-page white paper about when ZeroAvia’s 19-seater Dornier 228 twin-engine aircraft completed a 10-minute test flight in January 2023. It was the largest aircraft to have made a successful flight using a hydrogen-electric powertrain, with PowerCell fuel cell stacks a core part of the system.

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