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Electric Aircraft CO2 Emission Calculator

Lift/drag ratio


Total aircraft mass

\( kg \)

Propulsion efficiency
propulsive energy / battery energy consumed


Grid efficiency
battery energy / grid energy consumed


Grid CO2 emission

\( gCO2/kWh \)

CO2 emission


\( g/km \)

CO2 emission


\( g/mile \)


This calculator estimates the CO2 emissions from a battery-powered electric aircraft.

Below are some values for reference.

  • Jet liners have L/D around 15.
  • Helicopters have L/D around 5.
  • The Joby S4 eVTOL has a mass of about 2200 kg.
  • A kilogram weighs about 2.2 lbs (on earth).
  • Electric cars have a propulsive efficiency of about 0.9 from battery to wheel. Presumably an aircraft rotor would have similar efficiency, but then have further losses converting rotor power to thrust.
  • 0.386 kg/kWh for batteries changed on the US electric grid
  • 1.013 kg/kWh for batteries charged by burning coal
  • 0.008 kg/kWh for batteries charged by wind turbines


The following equations are used to estimate the CO2 emissions \( e \) from the lift/drag ratio \( L/D \), total aircraft mass \( m_t \), battery to propulsion energy efficiency \( \eta_{b-p} \), grid to battery energy efficiency \( \eta_{g-b} \) and grid CO2 emissions per unit energy \( e_g \). Other relevant values include the battery energy used \( E_B \) and the grid energy consumed \( E_G \) to fly 1 km. These equations assume a constant speed flight and exclude energy required in the cabin for avionics, air conditioning, etc. In reality, takeoff and climb may consume much more energy, causing substantially higher emissions.

\[ E_B = D * 1 km / \eta_{b-p} \] \[ D = m_t*9.8\frac{m}{s^2}/(L/D) \] \[ E_G = E_B / \eta_{g-b} \] \[ e = E_G * e_g \]

We are working on a new article regarding the feasibility of electric aircraft and flying cars. Please check back later.

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