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News: Battery Tech At The Heart Of eVTOL Race

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  1. eVTOL Battery Tech; Finding The Right Energy Density
    eVTOL companies are racing to get to market first with a commercially ready and available passenger-carrying aircraft. Many of them are at different stages in the developmental curve. Some are much closer to FAA and EASA certification. However, there is one facet of the development of eVTOLs that is probably the most important component, battery tech! Specifically Lithium-ion battery tech is a touchy subject for many. It works wonders for current applications in everyday small items and even in electric cars. The issue with lithium-ion batteries is that it does not reach the required energy density that is ideal for the eVTOL industry.
  2. There is a 'magical number' the industry goes by for this sort of tech and that is 450 watt hours per kg. For context and perspective, current densities for the typical off-the-shelf EV battery is around 250 to 350 watt hours per kilogram and this is what typically the eVTOL prototypes have been utilizing in testing. Many battery makers are not advancing the ideal 450 watt hours per kg. However, there is one company called Amprius Technologies that has been developing a 450 watt hours per kg batteries in November 2021. They even suggested that they are developing 500 and above. This is the kind of energy density that is needed for the eVTOL industry. It is also needed to help facilitate fast turnaround times for the eVTOL companies. With these new batteries from the likes of Amprius battery recharging from 0% to 80% takes as little as 6 minutes. For comparison, Beta Technologies says their ALIA 250 eVTOL will be able to recharge from 0% to 100% in 50 minutes. You can see the difference here. Amprius states by employing their patented, silicon nanowire anode, Amprius Technologies provides up to 100% improvement compared to standard lithium-ion batteries. Higher energy density by technology like what Amprius is developing means much longer range and endurance for the eVTOLs of the near future. However, standard off-the-shelf batteries are not sustainable for the future of eVTOL.

    For more information:

    Amprius Technologies
    1180 Page Avenue
    Fremont, CA 94538 USA

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