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German startup Lilium said it will be using Zenlabs’ battery cell technology, which it believes will be able to power its Lilium Jet eVTOL aircraft.
As an investor in Zenlabs since 2021, Lilium has exclusive rights to use the battery cell technology in commercial regional eVTOL applications.
Lilium claims the technology will allow its aircraft to achieve a projected operational range of around 175 kilometers (108 miles), assuming a short 10-second vertical take-off at its maximum take-off weight and a short 45-second vertical landing.
The company said its battery technology will be able to deliver a high average specific power of 2,500 watts per kilogram during the short take-off and landing, and around 250 watt hours per kilogram in cruise flight, leaving a 20% energy reserve after landing.
“Our team scouted more than 100 companies along the entire battery value chain from raw material suppliers through to cell developers, manufacturers, and recycling companies,” the company stated. “Based on that research, we concluded that Zenlabs’ pouch cells, lithium-ion batteries using high-silicon anode and high-nickel cathode, offered the best solution for achieving our needs through performance, certification, and into scale production.”
Customcells will manufacture Lilium’s battery cells using Zenlabs’ technology under license, asserting that its cells and battery modules will be manufactured to meet anticipated safety regulations from both the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
The company said development on its cell technology is ongoing, and “we will likely use a further evolution of this cell technology in our production aircraft in order to further improve operational performance while meeting anticipated certification requirements.”