BETA Technologies, a developer of electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft and charging systems—which Amazon invested in through its Climate Pledge Fund—performed a test flight of its ALIA electric aircraft between two Amazon Air Hubs in the Northern Kentucky and Ohio region, the first-ever test of an electric aircraft at Amazon facilities.
"BETA Technologies continues to take steps forward in electrifying the aviation industry and reducing its impact on our environment, and we are thrilled to have them conduct their test flight between two Amazon Air hubs," stated Sarah Rhoads, vice president of Amazon Global Air. "The ALIA test flight helped us continue to learn as we stay committed to our long-term goal of transforming our transportation network into a zero-emissions fleet."
In 2021, the Climate Pledge Fund made an initial investment in BETA Technologies as the company shares in Amazon's vision to create zero-emissions transportation. One year later, Amazon has now made a second investment in BETA Technologies to continue to support their progress developing electric aircraft to one day serve the needs of various companies—as well as the planet.
"It's incredible to see the progress BETA Technologies has continued to make with its innovative ALIA electric aircraft," said Kara Hurst, vice president of Worldwide Sustainability at Amazon. "We're thrilled to continue to invest in BETA through The Climate Pledge Fund, as we must work together across industries and companies to make meaningful changes that positively impact our planet in the fight against climate change."
In recent months, BETA's ALIA aircraft has materially expanded its flight test envelope. Most notably, BETA's all-electric aircraft recently flew from the company's flight test center in northern New York to northwestern Arkansas. The over 1,400-mile journey, recharging on the company's own charging infrastructure, was an opportunity to gain practical experience with ALIA. The mission saw ALIA fly through six states, including New York, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, and Arkansas.
"Over the past year, we've significantly expanded our flight test program to include market survey flights with customers, conducting several successful real-life missions," said Kyle Clark, founder and CEO of BETA Technologies. "Flights like these are not just an exciting and informative step forward for our program, but they also prove the viability of electric aviation and show that this technology is capable of operating with the variables of cross-country flying and in the National Airspace System. The confidence and investment from partners like Amazon have been instrumental in getting us to this point, and we're grateful for their continued support."
Amazon is dedicated to turning the climate crisis into climate action and becoming net-zero carbon by 2040 as part of its commitment to The Climate Pledge, which it co-founded in 2019. Additionally, to support the vision and transition to a low-carbon economy, Amazon announced the Climate Pledge Fund—a dedicated investment program with $2 billion in funding. To date, the Climate Pledge Fund has invested in more than 18 companies working to solve climate problems with innovative solutions.