Tesla’s new batteries get electric aircraft closer to reality?
Electricity-based urban aviation is getting closer to reality as lithium batteries’ energy density increases, new Tesla research suggests.
The paper released by Canada-based researchers on August 10, 2020, infers a nearing of a breakthrough in battery efficiency technology, possibly paving the way for the future of both urban and commercial electric aircraft. But that dream could still prove to be further from our grasp.
The paper focuses on anode-free lithium metal cells that can store 60% more energy than their traditional lithium-ion counterparts. These could potentially extend the travel capacity of electric vehicles or even kickstart the beginning of flying cars.
The research highlights that the main problem with the anode-free cells is that they degrade quickly and have short life cycles, which is an obstacle for electricity based aircraft especially considering how demanding and energy-dependent its engines are. However, Tesla’s scientists claim to have found a way to increase the lifetime of anode-free cells to 200 cycles. In contrast, 800 to 1,000 cycles are considered the norm for commercial purposes.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) believes that electric engines are the future for aviation and could significantly improve sustainability, safety and aircraft performance.
The battery lifetime and efficiency have been the focal issues of most electric aircraft designs, considering that electronic engine technology is at its infancy stage. To put things into perspective, the largest electric plane as of August 14, is Cessna eCaravan that can carry nine passengers and is estimated to be able to fly 100 miles per single trip. Additionally, half of Cessna’s four-tonne weight is attributed to lithium-ion batteries. Cutting this weight and improving energy density in cells is one of the few ways of making sustainable travel a possibility.
American proceeds with 19,000 furloughs, asks for PSP extension
American Airlines said it will proceed with its plan to furlough 19,000 employees but will stop the process if the U.S....
First female name on Iberia’s Airbus A320neo
To show the importance and contribution to aviation by women, Iberia Airlines named it’s A320neo in honor of the first S...
Tony Douglas: “the jury’s out” on Etihad Airways Airbus A380 fate
Whether the Etihad Airways Airbus A380 fleet will fly again remains undecided due to brand and sustainability issues imp...
Korean Air bans cargo transportation of snub-nosed animals
Korean Air has announced that it will no longer transport snub-nosed dogs and cats on its cargo aircraft, following a re...
Keeping promises: FAA Head to pilot Boeing 737 MAX
Steve Dickson, the Chief of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), will fulfil his promise and pilot a Boeing 7...