Rolls Royce Plane Becomes Fastest All-Electric Vehicle


Dr. Alfredo Carpineti

Senior Staff Writer & Space Correspondent

clockNov 26 2021, 13:00 UTC
The Spirit of Innovation

The Spirit of Innovation in flight. Image Credit Rolls Royce

The "Spirit of Innovation" aircraft has become the fastest electric vehicle ever in a test flight, according to Rolls Royce. The company reports that on November 16 its all-electric aircraft reached a maximum speed of 623 kilometers per hour (387.4 miles per hour). Once this is certified it would make this aircraft the fastest electric vehicle ever.

The vehicle, part of the company ACCEL (Accelerating the Electrification of Flight) program, reached a speed of 555.9 km/h (345.4 mph) over 3 kilometers, beating the previous record by 213.04 km/h (132mph). Over a 15 kilometer path, the Spirit of Innovation got to 532.1km/h (330 mph) also another record-breaking result. The aircraft was also a whole minute faster in climbing up to 3,000 meters than previous achievements, doing it in just 202 seconds.


These results have now been submitted to the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), the international organization that controls and certifies the world's aeronautical and astronautical record.

“Staking the claim for the all-electric world-speed record is a fantastic achievement for the ACCEL team and Rolls-Royce. I would like to thank our partners and especially Electroflight for their collaboration in achieving this pioneering breakthrough,” Warren East, the CEO of Rolls-Royce, said in a statement.

“The advanced battery and propulsion technology developed for this programme has exciting applications for the Advanced Air Mobility market. Following the world’s focus on the need for action at COP26,  this is another milestone that will help make ‘jet zero’ a reality and supports our ambitions to deliver the technology breakthroughs society needs to decarbonise transport across air, land and sea.”


The current certified record for the fastest electric-powered vehicle is Venturi VBB‑3 Streamliner, an electric car that got to 550 km/h (342 mph) five years ago.


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