Less Expensive Batteries May Lead to More Homebuilt Electric Airplanes

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

It came as somewhat of a shock that high-quality lithium battery prices could drop low enough to encourage electric aircraft developers an opportunity to “scrounge” in the style of the original home-built airplane builders.  Early aircraft “home-builders” often cannibalized war-surplus aircraft or wrecks of private planes for parts and materials that could be adapted into their own designs.  Ground power units (GPUs), for instance, became an early supply point for engine cores that could be converted to aircraft use – possible on “Experimental” homebuilts, although frowned upon by the FAA for factory-builts. Your editor thought at one point that auto wrecking yards might provide a source of used batteries for experimental electric airplanes, but the thought of all the internal …

Better Batteries: 3x Life, 30-Percent Cost

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 5 Comments

The CAFE blog’s recent news about graphene electrode developments by Argonne National Laboratory in applications by Envia, a startup battery company in Newark, California, led to an almost immediate follow-up by another startup, California Lithium Battery (CalBattery), but with a different form factor in mind. The company’s purpose can be divined from their mission statement.  “Our mission is to become the leading United States-based developer and manufacturer of advanced, safe, high-performance Very large Format (VLF) lithium batteries for utility energy storage, EVs, and specialized industrial and military applications.”  These batteries would be used in transportation and stationary power markets in North America, Europe and Asia. Asked to define VLF batteries, founder and CEO Phil Roberts said that their transportation batteries …