Airbus, Siemens to work together on electrically-powered planes

Siemens' new company logo is seen before a news conference in Munich, southern Germany, January 26, 2016. REUTERS/Michael Dalder

BERLIN (Reuters) - European aerospace group Airbus has signed a deal with industrial group Siemens to work on hybrid electric propulsion systems with the aim of building small planes that could be partly powered by electricity by 2030.

The two companies will aim to demonstrate the technical feasibility of various hybrid electric propulsion systems by 2020, they said in a statement on Thursday.

The two have put together a team of about 200 people to work on developing electrically powered aircraft and will make “significant contributions” to the project.

“We believe that by 2030 passenger aircraft below 100 seats could be propelled by hybrid propulsion systems and we are determined to explore this possibility together with world-class partners like Siemens,” Airbus Group CEO Tom Enders said.

Reporting by Victoria Bryan; Editing by Christoph Steitz