Now that the firm has reportedly closed a battery supply agreement with South Korea’s Kokam, the electric aviation startup Eviation Aircraft is now aiming to bring its 9-seat electric aircraft to market by 2021, the company’s CEO has revealed.
The Israel-based firm went with Kokam as its battery supplier due to the relatively small client base that it maintains — which means that the expectation is for a relatively high degree of flexibility and access to customization.
The CEO of Eviation, Omer Bar-Yohay, was quoted by Reuters as saying (in a phone interview): “If I would go today to Samsung or Panasonic or LG Chem or Tesla for that matter and say I need a different cell size, they will probably laugh because the number of cells we are going to buy is not significant enough to start the design process.”
A reasonable enough perspective. It’s also worth noting, of course, that many of the firms above are currently stuck in production bottlenecks anyways.
Reuters provides more:
“The battery will have 9,400 cells distributed throughout the aircraft including the ceiling, floor, and wings, weighing 3.8 tonnes, or 60% of the maximum takeoff weight…Eviation’s ‘Alice’ airplane is expected to have a range of up to 650 nautical miles (1200 kilometers), compared to 1000 nautical miles for a similar-sized conventional Cessna Caravan. It will cost $2 million-plus, on par with the Cessna, but have far lower fuel and maintenance costs, Bar-Yohay said.
“Eviation hopes to fly the Alice demonstrator for the first time by the end of the year, with the first public display at the Paris Airshow in mid-2019, he said. Moving to commercial production after that would require raising around $100 million of capital.”
In related news, the startup Zunum Aero recently announced plans to bring a 12-seat hybrid aircraft to market by 2022. Numerous other aviation firms are now working on similar designs as well.
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