Ultra-fast electric vehicle charger on the horizon for flying taxis scheduled for 2024


Image credit: Lilium

ABB E-mobility and Lilium NV, positioned to be a global leader in regional electric air mobility, announced plans for ABB to provide charging infrastructure for Lilium’s high-speed regional air network, including commercial launch is scheduled for 2024.

Lilium announced planned launch networks in Florida, Germany and Brazil. As part of the agreement, ABB will develop, test and deliver the MegaWatt rapid charging infrastructure necessary for the rapid turnaround times required for electric aviation.

ABB charging points are designed to be able to fully recharge the batteries in around 30 minutes and up to 80% in 15 minutes, enabling the 20 to 25 flights per plane per day planned on Lilium’s global network of vertiports. The initial range of a 7-seater Lilium Jet should be 155 miles with a cruising speed of 175 mph.

Frank Muehlon, President of ABB’s E-mobility Division, said: “Combining Lilium’s mission of developing sustainable aviation with global market expertise and ABB’s leadership in electric mobility and infrastructure charging is a victory for the environment and a victory for passengers.

“In addition, we view this planned partnership as a significant commitment to all relevant charging standards adopted by several manufacturers of electric ‘vehicles’. By supporting the new MegaWatt charging standard, ABB E-mobility is paving the way for the electrification of all modes of transport, from cars and trucks to ships, mining vehicles and now aviation.

According to Lilium, in 2019, global CO₂ emissions from all commercial airline operations totaled 918 million tonnes, an increase of 29% since 2013¹. With passenger transport responsible for 780 million tonnes, or 85%, of total emissions from airline operations, decarbonizing transport is a vital step towards tackling climate change and building a more sustainable future.

Daniel Wiegand, CEO and co-founder of Lilium, added: “We believe that the decarbonization of aviation is both urgent and inevitable. Ensuring we have the right charging infrastructure will play a crucial role in building our regional high-speed air network by enabling fast and efficient charging. We are proud to work with ABB, who bring decades of electrification and software experience, to set the industry standard for electric aviation charging.

The regional air network will be made up of a series of vertiports, which will have several parking areas and high-power charging stations.

The MegaWatt Charging System (MCS), the infrastructure to be developed under this planned partnership, will allow direct current (DC) charging up to 1000 kW and can also be used for heavy electric vehicles, such than trucks and buses. In the development of MCS, ABB and Lilium plan to adhere to relevant standards that support interoperability.

CharIN, the organization that promotes interoperability based on the Combined Charging System (CCS) as the global standard for recharging vehicles of all kinds, launched the “Megawatt Charging System” working group in 2018 to prepare a international charging standard for high power charging of commercial vehicles.

The partnership remains subject to the finalization by the parties of the commercial conditions and the final documentation.


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