The Potential Role of Flying Vehicles in Progressing the Energy Transition

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


An energy transition is in progress around the globe, notably led by an increase in the deployment of renewable energy and a shift toward less emissions-intense options, notably in the transportation sector. This research investigates the potential role that new transportation options, namely flying vehicles, may play toward progressing the energy transition. As flying vehicles are a relatively new technology yet to penetrate the market, it is also prudent to consider the ethical, legal, and social issues (ELSI) associated with their implementation, alongside the potential energy and environmental impacts. Through a review of ELSI and energy and environmental literature, we identify research gaps and identify how flying vehicles may impact upon the energy transition over time. Our research identifies several critical aspects of both ELSI and energy and environmental academia relevant to the future deployment of flying vehicles and describes a deployment timeline and the resultant societal outcomes. We find that flying vehicles could drive the energy transition and the hydrogen economy and that their widespread adoption could engender shared socio-environmental benefits. Our findings are relevant to transportation and environmental policymakers and identify critical considerations for the planned introduction of new, shared transportation options to the market, conducive to a sustainable energy transition.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7406
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Building and Construction
  • Fuel Technology
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Energy (miscellaneous)
  • Control and Optimization
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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