This Electric Aircraft Features A 900-kWh Battery, 650-Mile Range

FEB 27 2018 BY MARK KANE 55

Eviation Aircraft announced its all-electric Alice aircraft with range of 650 miles (nearly 1,050 km) that’s intended to revolutionize regional air travel.

Buy One Today – First Electric Aircraft Takes Flight, Buy Yours Now

Eviation Alice

The company first showed the mock-up at the 2017 Paris Air Show and was present at the recent Singapore Airshow with a promise of first flights this year. Commercialization is to begin in 2019.

Eviation recently signed a deal worth over $1 million with South Korean battery manufacturer Kokam to provide 900 kWh battery packs, required for the range of the craft.. Batteries are to be highly energy dense at 260 Wh/kg.

With a 900-kWh battery in the air, maybe something like a 900 kWh in the Tesla Semi sounds small now?

The Alice takes from 6 to 9 passengers plus 2 crew. With three 260 kW electric motors, cruise speed is 240 knots (276 mph).

With the goal of making clean regional air travel accessible for all, Eviation is tackling one of the world’s dirtiest industries – aviation. Its zero-emissions solution, the Alice, which debuted at the 52nd Paris Air Show in June 2017, leverages an IP portfolio that includes thermal management and autonomous landing, as well as distributed electric propulsion, industry-leading battery technology provided by Kokam, and cutting-edge composite body frames capable of carrying up to 9 passengers on a single charge for 650 miles.

Beginning with its patented manufacturing process, Kokam’s battery solutions feature a compact battery cell design, an industry-leading energy density of 260 Watt hours per kilogram (Wh/kg) and a long cycle life, making them optimized to achieve light, energy efficient solutions meeting the safety demands of an aircraft. While the company’s battery solutions have been used in aerial, ground, surface, and underwater drone applications for military, commercial, and industrial purposes, this deal with Eviation marks the first time they will be used in manned aerial flights of regional commuter aircrafts.”

“Eviation is primed to make regional air travel emissions-free with a fully-electric aircraft design, built from the ground up to cut costs and improve efficiency on the busiest city-to-city transit routes, such as San Diego to Silicon Valley and Seoul to Beijing. Through 2019, Eviation will certify and commercialize its all-electric Alice aircraft, while partnering with leading industry suppliers, including Kokam, to bring its prototypes to scale and to the market.”

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Ike Hong, vice president of Kokam’s Power Solutions Division said:

“Eviation is taking the electric transportation revolution to its next logical level: the air. While the aviation sector is behind those on the ground in electrifying, today’s battery capabilities are both more compact and with higher energy density than earlier technology, already able to power flights of 500 miles or less, a distance encompassing half of the world’s 4.5 billion flights annually.”

Omer Bar-Yohay, CEO of Eviation said:

“Kokam is known around the world for its exceptional lithium ion battery technology, which already powers everything from energy storage systems to unmanned aerial, surface, and underwater vehicles. We’re confident this is the best battery to usher in the age of electric aerial mobility, helping to save customers time and money, while being the most sustainable solution in the air.”

Eviation Alice spec

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55 Comments on "This Electric Aircraft Features A 900-kWh Battery, 650-Mile Range"

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(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

Nice!

mhpr262

All three props are pushers and intersect the planes of dirty air left by the wings and the tail – a recipe for increased noise and lowered efficiency.

dan

The pushers are at the wing tip and I imagine that they are set to rotate counter to how the wingtip vortices develop. It’s a clever way of killing two birds with one propeller!

jimjfox

Does it occur to you that there must be good engineering reasons why so many of these designs chose pushers? Is your aeronautical experience superior to these designers? Just asking.

Pete

Oh dear, another armchair expert. What are you bringing to production this week?

Ocean Railroader

This plane is surprisingly matching the range of many World War 2 gas powered fighters from the 1940’s.

But in the next ten years the ranges of the war world 2 fighters doubled and tripled.

So this plane as if now is good and in the future will be good.

Pat Free

Interesting. But even at 260Wh/kg a 900kWh battery will weight a little less than 3.5 Tons… plus the 3 x engines plus the plane stucture. Agree this is closed to the 800 to 1000 kWh expected in Tesla 500 Miles Semi truck model. If that can fly, why not !!!
I look forwards to their flight demo of 1000km on one charge…

TJKR

I was thinking the same thing, at around 3.5 tons or 7000 lbs, its the same weight as the Honda Jet. If the max take-off weight is 14000 lbs, assuming 3000 for payload and 7000 for battery, aircraft is going to be 4000lbs, almost the same weight as a Model 3. I somehow doubt this math is going to work. I remember Elon musk was saying about 400 wh/kg for his VTOL jet, even that I think is not enought. I don’t think this is a viable idea.

Eco

Note on the www . Eviation . co website:
“High energy density battery system
Combining Lithium-ion for high power needs and a proprietary Aluminum-Air system for range, hitting the 400Wh/kg mark and more.”

The Aluminum-Air battery is from www . Phinergy . com – Aluminum has an energy density of 8 kWh/kg (about the same as gasoline) and the efficiency is 4 or 5 times higher than an ICE.

Eco

Note on the www . Eviation . co website:
“High energy density battery system
Combining Lithium-ion for high power needs and a proprietary Aluminum-Air system for range, hitting the 400Wh/kg mark and more.”

The Aluminum-Air battery is from www . Phinergy . com – Aluminum has an energy density of 8 kWh/kg (about the same as gasoline) and the efficiency is 4 or 5 times higher than an ICE.

David Murray

So, I’m guessing they haven’t actually built a full-scale version yet?

jimjfox

That picture at top is a rendering, then?
Or merely a scale model?
Seems only weeks ago someone commentating stated he could see nothing more than 2-seat lightweight pilot trainers being a reality for years to come…

jimjfox

It is on sale NOW, for delivery in 2019.
Another who can’t READ.

Leon

Could a tow vehicle have a power supply so that it would stay plugged in until the final takeoff?

scoops

It looked like there was a little motor in the front wheel (looks similar to an ebike motor)

ClarksonCote

Being electric, is it easy to spin the props in reverse on landing, to brake without needing conventional brakes? That would significantly shorten the length of runway needed for landing in icy conditions.

dan

With propeller aircraft, you just change the angle of the propeller and it reverses the thrust. Jet engines open up vents that reverse thrust as well. This is how all airplanes stop. Very little of the braking that happens on an aircraft is from the mechanical brakes which don’t come on till further down the runway when the aircraft has slowed down.

That said, you don’t actually want regen in an aircraft. It will take up valuable space to implement and it happens only once with very little actual value in the course of a flight.

CarGuy

Regen?

Cecil T

Regen doesn’t take up any space, it’s just electrical programming. But agreed that there is limited use for it in aircraft.

ClarksonCote

I agree no regen, but am skeptical that changing the angle can provide as much stopping power as reversing the propeller direction.

Caveat: I’m a private pilot of a couple years, but have not strayed from fixed pitch propellers as of yet.

PPL Note: “BETA” is the term that you see for Reversing the thrust on Turboprop Aircraft, and I only know of 1 Piston Engine Aircraft that uses Beta (Reverse Trust), and that was the ‘WREN 460’, a Cessna 182 Derivative, with incredible Slow Flight control!

Beta does in fact change the propeller angle, or ‘Pitch’, from pushing the air one way, to pushing it the other way (Reverse Thrust), but it does increase propeller hub complexity, so with electric motors, it might be more practical to just stop, and reverse the motor Revolution to run in ‘reverse’, so to speak.

Helder Sepulveda

With the pushers at the wing tip, reversing the thrust (by any means) will cause a lot of stress on the wings.

What I remember from my private pilot crash course…
to shorten the length of runway needed, we use the flaps

scott franco

“With propeller aircraft, you just change the angle of the propeller and it reverses the thrust. Jet engines open up vents that reverse thrust as well. This is how all airplanes stop.”

No, it isn’t.

ClarksonCote

Jet engines definitely have reverse thrusters, but they don’t provide a whole lot of stopping power.

SJC

“Not all variable-pitch propellers can produce reverse thrust…”

Float planes do, but not most others.

Someone out there

The Pipistrel Alpha Elektro uses its propeller as a regenerative brake when landing.

John In AA

I would imagine that for commuter aircraft, turnaround time is important. One certainly sees airlines turn aircraft around in well under an hour. Equally, one assumes corporate planes sometimes need quick turnarounds. That would seem suggest charging time — not mentioned in the story — is crucially important for any commercial application.

(Unless the aircraft is insanely cheap. If it cost around half what its fossil fueled counterpart cost, you could afford to leave it on the ground charging half the time. But that seems unlikely.)

JoeInTheUK

Or, modular swappable battery packs.

Leon

Or a grown station wireless microwave beam to power it in the air?

Gary

Like that one Leon! Standard swappable battery packs. Open compartment flip up disconnect remove from tract with fork lift place on charger then reverse steps. Same time as standard refueling!

Or… Taxi over an ‘Oil Change Pit’ like space, and robots do the swap! Like the Tesla Demo show!

Leaf2012

Or just simply plug in the DC fast charger at the gate. They already connect fossil fuel aircrafts in similar way to enable them to stop the auxiliary power generator. Then 30 min later when the aircraft is ready to departure it is already recharged to 80%, enough to travel to next stop. This is normal fast charging time for BEVs.

David Murray

Being that electric airplanes will only be expected to charge at a few locations, namely at airports, I see no reason why some sort of fast charger similar to what the Tesla Semi truck uses couldn’t be available. Ideally, it should be at the terminal so the plane can be plugged in as soon as it arrives. By the time the new passengers load on and all checks are done, the battery should be topped off. Of course, I’m thinking of a large passenger plane, not necessarily one like this.

scott franco

“mock up”…

Raymond E Dunn

Yes it is…still being developed…yes it is…promising…maybe…

Gerard

Is 260 Wh/kg realistic? My Renault Zoé has a 41 kWh battery that weighs almost 400 kg. That’s roughly 1 kWh per 10 kgs, only 100 Wh/kg. About the same as Tesla’s Power Wall. Can the efficiency of the battery be increased 2.5 times that easy..?

Denis

260 Wh/kg is realistic at the CELL level. Off the shelf Panasonic cells are close to that figure. But no production vehicle, ground or airborne, features such a figure at the assembled battery level.

Jeremy

That‘s for Kokam high energy pouch cell: http://kokam.com/cell/

It‘s not the fully assembled battery.

Eco

Note on the www . Eviation . co website:
“High energy density battery system
Combining Lithium-ion for high power needs and a proprietary Aluminum-Air system for range, hitting the 400Wh/kg mark and more.”

The Aluminum-Air battery is from www . Phinergy . com – Aluminum has an energy density of 8 kWh/kg (about the same as gasoline) and the efficiency is 4 or 5 times higher than an ICE.

I’m really excited! A reverse pith on a prop job ! For breaking Super awesome . It’s only going to get better .
Looking forward to flying one my self . This is our future.? ! It’s all about extending the flight time ! Solar sails on the wing? (Extended stick time) ☺️ we are already in the drone manufacturing ! Just saying we will be short on a job not to far in future ;( I love flying)

276 mph. isn’t all that fast for someone wanting to just get there. What do you suppose it costs to recharge? Electricity isn’t free either.

Better than the Wright Brothers first plane, by far! Even if it is only half as fast and half as far!

*(Even if it is only half as fast and half as far!) *As they said it would do!

John in AA

Presumably recharging costs will be much less than equivalent hydrocarbon fueling costs just like with cars. (It may come as a shock to you but literally everyone already knows electricity isn’t free.)

Ever paid for a tank of avgas? I have. Ouch.

The Cat in the Sky

NEVER BUY THE A MODEL OF ANYTHING.

The yaw created by an engine loss on the tips will be interesting, albeit a bit character building.

What? You never pacticed Spiral Recovery in Your Flight Training???

arne-nl

I would guess that you shut down the other wing-tip propeller and the single centre mounted aft propeller is enough to safely land.

arne-nl

Oh, and btw, don’t get stuck in the ICE age. The first thing you think is: what if an engine/motor fails?

Electric motors are infinitely more reliable than the Ruby Goldberg contraptions we are now used to.

Frank Hicks

Long time pilot and electrical engineer here.
What the media, and therefore people, miss about any electric vehicle is that they have to be recharged. How is that energy made? Hydro, solar, wind? No, In most locations it’s made by oil, gas, coal, or nuclear. So are they really low emission? At the point of use, yes. But there is pollution created to generate the electricity. In some places, lots of pollution due to high sulpher coal being used.

wavelet

Sigh. This has been posted dozens of times on this site.
Yes, the overall “well to wheels” pollution (“well to wings” here (-:) depends on how electricity is generated. However, in many places, not just hydro-rich places like Norway, _including_ the USA on the average EVs are still cleaner:
https://cleantechnica.com/2018/02/19/electric-car-well-to-wheel-emissions-myth/

If you live in the USA, there’s a web-based tool that tells you exactly how much pollution a specific EV would generate in a specific zipcode, using the electricity generation mix for that zipcode:
https://www.ucsusa.org/clean-vehicles/electric-vehicles/ev-emissions-tool#.WpY9mksp-WY

jimjfox

Sigh ++
Yes, the same tiresome questions, answered many times before…
“Are we there yet?” “Are we there yet?” “Are we there yet?”

‘276 mph. isn’t all that fast…’ Other options? Your car? A train? Ah, the Hyperloop- of course!

Obviously, if this is flying from Montreal to Quebec City, or Vancouver to Kamloops, running on Hydro Electric Power, it will be net cleaner than running from Coal City to Crude City! Any child can understand that!

Raymond E Dunn

Looks like the poster child for 3 D printing in product development…development is not production however. Still some interesting challenges ahead, as with TESLA products.Looking forward to see

Scramjett

I like it and hope to start seeing these aircraft soon.

I’m rather curious, given its hefty weight, what the take off and stall speeds are.

Alan

This is timely as we all know how the rise of electric powered vehicles are on the rise just like how Tesla has made it boom around. It’s about time that aircrafts are delved in to! More power to Eviation for this amazing feat. Anyone who is interested or looking to buy and sell aircrafts, feel free to visit https://www.globalair.com/aircraft-for-sale.