China carried out its first flight of a four-seat electric aircraft, state media reported, as the nation looks to develop battery-powered planes for short-haul transport.

RX4E lands after its maiden flight in Shenyang, capital of northeast China's Liaoning Province, on October 28, 2019. (Picture: Yang Qing/Xinhua)

The Chinese-made RX4E aircraft, which weighs 1,200 kilograms and can fly 300 kilometers in one charge, flew from the northeastern city of Shenyang, Xinhua News Agency reported. The plane, made mostly of lightweight carbon materials, will have a longer range with advances in battery technology, and it could be used for short trips, pilot training or tourist flights, Xinhua said.

Electric aircraft, if commercial viable, are appealing because they’re low on noise and emissions. Uber Technologies Inc. plans to start electric flying-taxi services in Melbourne from 2023. It is also piloting the service in Dallas and Los Angeles.