It’s 2020. That means that despite the COVID-19 induced global financial meltdown, we’re supposed to have flying cars by now. Thankfully, there are still a few companies out there trying to make that dream a reality, and when they do, all of you who buy those electric flying cars will need a place to land, charge, and re-charge for the next leg of your flight. That’s where Beta comes in.
Based in Burlington, Vermont, Beta is perhaps best-known as the eVTOL startup that previewed its ALIA aircraft to rave reviews in Texas last November. Like Tesla with its supercharger network before them, though, Beta’s leadership team understands that it will have to build its own nationwide infrastructure if it’s going to compete with the big boys, and that’s what’s driven the company to develop the eVTOL rest stop shown in these images.
“It can charge the aircraft, providing accommodations to ‘recharge’ the flight crews, as well, or it can serve as a hand off point for cargo or medical supplies,” says Kyle Clark, Beta’s founder. And his rest stop, constructed primarily of what look like shipping containers, will do just that by offering a rapid recharge for vehicles that comes from a 250 kW AC/DC inverter connected directly to the grid. For pilots and crews, well-appointed “hotel rooms” will give them a place to rest while their vehicle charges up or gets serviced. It’s kind of like the old motorlodge model, if you’re old enough to remember those.
In addition to the cabins and repair facilities, the use of flexible containers means that each rest stop can offer storage, a short-term lounge for quick-charge customers, and more. There are even solar cells and an on-site battery in the demo model, shown, to help supply eVTOL pilots with energy if and when the grid isn’t reliable (think: after a major storm). Check it out in the pictures, below, then let us know what you think of Beta’s futuristic flying car stop in the comments section.