Aircraft

Lilium and ABB announce MegaWatt ultra-charging system for eVTOLs

Lilium and ABB announce MegaWa...
Lilium and ABB are designing a megawatt-class charger for eVTOL air taxis
Lilium and ABB are designing a megawatt-class charger for eVTOL air taxis
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Lilium and ABB are designing a megawatt-class charger for eVTOL air taxis
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Lilium and ABB are designing a megawatt-class charger for eVTOL air taxis

eVTOL air taxis will have to spend most of their time in the air if they're going to be profitable at the super-cheap seat prices these companies are forecasting. That means they'll need to charge up in little more time than it takes to get passengers and luggage on and off.

This is going to require some extraordinary chargers – not to mention battery packs that can take the stress of ultra-fast charging. So German eVTOL company Lilium has teamed up with Swedish/Swiss multinational giant ABB on a monster charging system designed to blast-charge batteries and ensure quick turnaround.

True to its name, the MegaWatt system will push up to a full thousand kilowatts of power DC. Lilium says this will give its aircraft a full 0-100 percent charge in around 30 minutes, or a quick 0-80 percent charge in just 15 minutes. This, combined with the 7-seat air taxi's projected range of 155 miles (250 km) and cruise speed around 175 mph (282 km/h), will allow each aircraft to make between 20 and 25 flights per day.

A 7-seat cabin makes this one of the largest air taxi designs headed for production
A 7-seat cabin makes this one of the largest air taxi designs headed for production

The MegaWatt Charging System (MCS) is a new standard under development specifically targeted at large electric vehicles like trucks, buses, municipal and commercial vehicles. With a single hand-held cable and plug, it'll push maximum voltages up to 1,500 V, and maximum currents up to 3,000 A – so it theoretically supports charging at up to 4.5 megawatts. How exactly that works without causing the lights to go out in several nearby suburbs will be interesting to learn.

A significant number of major transport industry players are on board with this project, and as such, the system developed by Lilium and ABB will be compatible with a range of other heavy vehicles – not that we'd expect them to come cruising past a Lilium vertiport hoping for a top up.

ABB has considerable form in this arena; it's already rolling out the world's fastest commercially-available chargers for regular EVs: the 360-kilowatt Terra 360.

Source: Lilium

7 comments
7 comments
Steven Clarkson
We have the technology to put EVTOL'S onto the commercial highway. Well done Lilium !
Yes powering the charger will be an interesting concept, but do able.
David
Will airports of the future need to have their own small modular reactor.
paul314
@David Airports of the future might have their own battery farms, which can double as grid protection in off hours...
Username
Easily swappable battery packs seem like a better solution.
niio
How long does the battery pack last at that rate?
Joshua Ojo
I suggest that "battery swapping" will be much better so as not to destroy such batteries in a short period of time.
Aermaco
These are all great insights we hope the airport designers are already up to speed on? Public input will be of value if not. The airports power sources of sun, wind, & nuke also can have tidal near the shore as many airports are. Their peak power's excess time can make hydrogen because that will be a growing hybrid need and demand with batteries as more and more vehicles begin to use H2. The existing airports may not need to compete with the many smaller eVTOl airports that don't have all that runway real estate cost. This assumes that electric thrust works out well at large scale because Fixed Wing lift with thrust horizontal in HTOL will be more efficient than VTOL when you have the space.