Home to some of the busiest flight routes in Europe, whisking passengers across a rugged and mountainous landscape, Norway\u2019s aviation industry now readies to go electric. Norway is one of Tesla\u2019s biggest markets, with about 8,500 cars sold last year. Now, the country whose tourism sales pitch is "Powered by Nature" wants to be a pioneer in the market for electric planes. Wideroe, a local airline that operates small planes on short haul flights, sees no major technological barriers ahead and plans to launch its first commercial aircraft propelled by some form of electric power within the next 10 years. \u201cToday, we fly the smallest aircraft on the shortest routes, based on an aging technology that was developed in the 1970\u2019s,\u201d Wideroe\u2019s Chief Executive Officer Stein Nilsen said in an interview. "There\u2019s been much development in the aviation sector, but not on the smallest aircraft." Monday marks the inaugural flight of an electric two-seater plane, which will take off from Oslo Airport with the country\u2019s transport minister as a passenger. The plane, made by Slovenian manufacturer Pipistrel, can fly for up to one hour. Avinor, a state-owned company that operates the country\u2019s airports, say the short test flight will demonstrate the feasibility of pollution-free aviation. Emission Targets Western Europe\u2019s largest exporter of oil and gas has pledged to cut emissions of greenhouse gases by 40 percent by 2030. About half of all new cars sold there are electric ( Germany only recently leapfrogged Norway as Europe\u2019s biggest market for electric cars), and battery-powered ferry boats are also being built. The thrust to electric planes should cut emissions further, though environmentalists are skeptical. \u201cThe growth in both Norwegian and international aviation is one of the big drivers of climate change, which is completely out of control,\u201d said Truls Gulowsen, head of Greenpeace in Norway. "Even if there\u2019s a small chance that we\u2019ll be able to get some small electric aircraft in the air covering short distances, there\u2019s no indication that we\u2019ll be able to replace today\u2019s medium and long haul distances with electric propulsion.\u201d Read more about Norway going electric: The Next Ship You Board Might Run on Batteries Oh N\u00f8! Germans Are Buying More Electrified Cars Than Norwegians Why Norway Is Ditching the \u2018Fossil Car\u2019 in Shift to Electrics That message fails to resonate with Wideroe, which likens what\u2019s happening in the aviation industry to the rapid transformation currently underway in the automobile industry. \u201cThose who need to drive fossil fueled cars will still buy these cars, but (the industry\u2019s) total emissions are nevertheless coming down,\u201d Wideroe\u2019s Nilsen said. "We must have a similar view for the aviation industry." Electric Future Norwegian Air ASA, Norway\u2019s largest airline and Europe\u2019s third-largest low-cost carrier, has already expanded its fleet with fuel-efficient aircraft, such as the Boeing 737 MAX. But like other major airlines has no plans to go electric until the technology matures. \u201cWhen electric aircraft are able to replace today\u2019s commercial machines, we will of course be interested,\u201d spokesman Lasse Sandaker-Nielsen said. Wideroe is far more ambitious. It currently operates 40 Bombardier Inc. Dash 8 turboprop planes and carries 2.8 million passengers each year. It wants to replace its entire fleet with new technology by 2030. \u201cWe have reached out to manufacturers to motivate them to create an aircraft designed for Norway with a new technological platform,\u201d the CEO said. One of those manufacturers is Zunum Aero, a Boeing Co.-backed startup that plans to deliver its first hybrid-electric plane to JetSuite Inc. in 2022. The plane will have a range of 700 miles and seat up to 12 passengers. \u201cWhen large research and development resources move in the same direction, things tend to move fast,\u201d Stein Nilsen said. But creating an aircraft that will withstand the unapologetic weather conditions of northern Norway may pose a challenge. \u201cWe don\u2019t see any technological barriers that will make this impossible to achieve,\u201d Nilsen said.