Israeli startup Eviation is displaying the first prototype of its Alice all-electric regional aircraft at this year’s Paris Air Show.

Flight testing and certification is to be performed in the U.S., at Prescott, Arizona, where Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) will provide assistance to the startup, says CEO Omer Bar-Yohay.

Work so far has been funded by Eviation’s founding private investors, but Bar-Yohay acknowledges the company needs to raise at least $200 million to take the program through certification and into production. The company is aiming for type certification by the end of 2021.

Eviation has attracted several risk-sharing partners prepared to shoulder the non-recurring expense of adapting their systems to Alice, he says. These include Honeywell, providing the fly-by-wire computers and flight deck, and Hartzell for the propellers.

South Korea’s Kokam has been named as the initial supplier of lithium-ion batteries, and Bar-Yohay expects to use electric motors from Siemens, but Eviation plans to select second sources for these and other systems, to give customers a choice of suppliers.

Alice is a nine-passenger, all-composite aircraft powered by three electric motors driving pusher propellers: the main one in the tail, and two others mounted at the ends of the wing, where the propellers rotate in the wingtip vortices, increasing propulsive efficiency.

The aircraft has 3,800 kg (8,380 lb.) of batteries built into its airframe, providing 900 kWh of energy capacity (a Tesla S has up to 100 kWh). This is sufficient to give Alice a range of 540 nm, plus reserves, at a 240-kt. cruise speed, says Bar-Yohay.

Compared with its closest competitor, the Cessna Caravan, Alice is heavier but faster and more powerful but shorter range. The Caravan has a maximum takeoff weight of 8,000 lb. and a range of 1,020 nm at 186 kt. on a 625-shp turboprop.

Alice weighs in at 14,000 lb., of which 60% is batteries, and has a combined power output of 800 kW (1,070 shp) from its three electric motors. Despite its weight, Bar-Yohay says the high installed power allows Alice to take off in under 700 meters (2,300 ft.).

Unlike conventional aircraft that lose weight along the flight due to fuel consumption, Alice remains at a constant weight throughout the flight and thus maintains a more efficient flight profile. “Efficient flight is translated to lower operating costs. Our goal is $200 per flight hour, about 20% of the cost of comparable turboprop-powered aircraft,” the company says.

ERAU will provide test-pilot and flight-test support to augment the certification effort. Eviation is also working with the university “on a couple of specific projects for next-generation aircraft, solutions with more forward-looking electric propulsion,” he says.