Published on September 23rd, 2018 | by Nicolas Zart0
CleanTechnica Podcast: Electric Aviation, Electric Wheels, & Electric Water Vehicles
September 23rd, 2018 by Nicolas Zart
Welcome to CleanTechnica‘s third podcast in a new series covering electric mobility in the air, on land, and in the sea. Today, we’re covering all three — electric air, land, and sea mobility news.
BMW Electric Boat? For Sure!
Jaguar, which just showed how efficient its I-PACE is, and BMW are beginning to get associated with electric aquatic experience. BMW has a good i3 and Jaguar has its I-PACE, which draws a lot of attention. We’ve covered the Jaguar boat before, so how about the BMW boat story?
Maritime vessel maker Avon announced its electric tender, the eJET 450, which rests on Torqueedo’s electric drive technology and a BMW i3 30.5 kWh battery pack. And the results are good for this tender — 90 minutes of range at 23 knots (27 mph) with a maximum speed of 31 knots (36 mph).
Dr. Christoph Ballin, CEO of Torqueedo, said: “Avon’s eJET tender marks the arrival of clean and quiet electric mobility in the luxury tender segment. It’s a gorgeous product and we are proud to support it.” Apparently, BMW and Torqueedo will enter an electric yacht called Malizia commissioned by the Yacht Club de Monaco and its chief sailor, the German Boris Herrmann. It will compete in the prestigious Vendée Globe solo around-the-world race in 2020. Stay tuned for more.
What’s In An eVTOL Design?
You could spend endless hours dissecting the finer subtleties of electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft designs. They are about as varied as there is fish in the sea. And that also means confusion.
What’s different about this eVTOL? This one uses pilots instead of directly introducing an autonomous aircraft. Partly to comply with existing aviation regulations, the fixed-wing aircraft with ducted fans has a size close to a car and looks like a very promising electric air mobility vehicle.
“We are investing in all the technology evolution taking place in aerospace, but we are trying to apply that to something that’s real world and is possible to execute four years out,” Stephen Fitzpatrick, the founder and chief executive of Vertical Aerospace, told Reuters recently.
aEro Hamilton to Dufour Aerospace aEro2
Remember our friends aEro Hamilton and their incredible acrobatic electric airplane the aEro 1? Dufour Aerospace has now announced the development of a tilt-wing eVTOL called the “aEro2,” according to eVTOLNews.
Building on the success of the aEro 1, the aEro2 rests on a modular hybrid-electric power system. The company says: “Our aircraft uses a proven tilt-wing design concept which keeps the wings constantly under airflow and therefore offers outstanding stability and control even in very slow flight. An efficient tail fan provides pitch control in hover flight and ensures that aEro 2 is robust against changes in center of gravity and gusty conditions.
“Four motors (two on each side) offer redundancy, with each motor temporarily able to provide twice the power to keep full hover capacity in case of a failure. The laminar airflow around the wing makes it less vulnerable to vortex ring state, strong wind and gust conditions in hover than any other aircraft.”
aEro 2 Quick Specs (March 2018)
- 320 km/h (172 knots, ~200 mph) cruising speed
- 2 seats
- hybrid or fully electric
- range 800 km (~500 miles) in hybrid mode
- range 120 km (74 miles) in electric mode
From eVTOL to Component, So Goes VerdeGo Aero
VerdeGo Aero will no longer build its eVTOL, instead, it announced it is restructuring towards being a powertrains and controls vendor for the entire flying car industry.
Erik Lindbergh — yes, related to famed aviators Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh — says VerdeGo Aero’s Integrated Distributed Electric Propulsion (IDEP) systems are for the Urban Air Mobility market. VerdeGo will offer its hybrid powertrains, electric aerospace propulsion, and attitude control of VTOL aircraft expertise for end-to-end powertrain solutions for the Urban Air Mobility market.