Hydrogen-electric engine developer ZeroAvia has raised an additional $35 million, with United Airlines and Alaska Air Group as new investors, the company announced Monday. The new funds bring the company’s total investment to date to $115 million.
As part of its investment, United has a conditional purchase agreement for 50 of ZeroAvia’s new zero-emission hydrogen-electric engines with an option for 50 more, according to the Chicago-based carrier. The engines could be retrofitted to existing United Express aircraft as early as 2028. One potential use is on United’s CRJ-550, a 50-seat aircraft that offers first-class seating.
Hydrogen-electric engines use electricity created by a chemical reaction in a fuel cell to power an electric motor instead of burning fossil fuel, according to a United statement.
United and Alaska join existing investors Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund, AP Ventures, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Horizons Ventures, Summa Equity and Shell Ventures. Specific company investments were not disclosed.