Aircraft engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce has successfully completed the first runway taxiing test of its all-electric ‘Spirit of Innovation’ aircraft.

According to Rolls-Royce, the plane is said to become the world’s fastest electric aircraft.

Taxiing is a critical test of the integration of the aircraft’s propulsion system, which is conducted prior to actual flight-testing.

During the taxi test, the aircraft’s 500HP (or 400kW) electric powertrain and new battery technology powered it along a runway.

Spirit of Innovation is scheduled to perform the first flight later this year. The company plans to achieve a target speed of more than 300mph (480km/h) at full power early next year.

The Accelerating the Electrification of Flight (ACCEL) programme is part of Rolls-Royce’s commitment towards net-zero carbon by 2050.

Rolls-Royce electrical director Rob Watson said: “Electrification of flight is an important part of our sustainability strategy as we aim for net-zero carbon by 2050. Taxiing of the ‘Spirit of Innovation’ is an incredible milestone for the ACCEL team as we progress to the first flight and the world-record attempt later this year.

“For the first time, the plane propelled itself forward using the power from an advanced battery and propulsion system that is groundbreaking in terms of electrical technology. This system and the capabilities being developed will help position Rolls-Royce as a technology leader offering power system to the Urban Air Mobility market.”

Key partners of the programme include electric motor and controller manufacturer YASA and aviation start-up Electroflight.

Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and Innovate UK provided half of the funding for the project.