Breaking Barriers in eVTOL Technology

As the demand for electric aircraft continues to surge, innovations in battery technology, particularly silicon anodes, are poised to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicles. Last year, we had the privilege of engaging in a Q&A session with Michelle Tokarz, the VP of Partnerships & Development at The Coretec Group. This time around, we are interviewing Matt Kappers, the company’s CEO.

The company’s silicon anode technology has the potential to redefine eVTOL applications, mirroring the transformative impact it has already had on electric vehicles (EVs). In this interview, Matt will provide valuable insights into the critical role of silicon anodes in eVTOL development, emphasizing their ability to deliver higher energy density and superior performance compared to traditional graphite anodes.

Matt_Kappers.jpg

Can you elaborate on how silicon anodes play a critical role in developing eVTOLs, specifically achieving higher energy density and better performance than traditional graphite anodes?

Kappers: Silicon has ten times the charge capacity of graphite in battery anodes, making it an optimal material choice for eVTOL batteries, allowing the eVTOL the necessary energy to obtain high levels of lift quickly. Unfortunately, most forms of silicon break down easily and leave wasteful byproducts, harming long-term battery performance. The Coretec Group has found a way around this issue by utilizing lab-grown, modified silicon nanoparticles that can vastly enhance battery performance without breaking and becoming inefficient.

Related:Coretec’s Silicon Anode Tech Now Under Provisional Patent

Given that electric aircraft heavily depend on efficient and lightweight energy storage, what challenges do you see in the current state of battery technology for eVTOLs, and how does Coretec’s silicon-anode technology address these challenges?

Kappers: Generally, more charge capacity is obtained by adding more battery material, which comes at the cost of the extra weight. The extra weight is especially burdensome for eVTOL applications as it can interfere with the ability for powerful lift and touchdown operations. Coretec’s Endurion solution, by contrast, allows additional charge capacity without the excessive extra weight commonly seen in graphite anode batteries. 

Researchers are actively seeking ways to enhance the energy density and efficiency of batteries for electric aircraft to extend flight ranges. How does Coretec plan to contribute to this goal, and what improvements can we expect in terms of the performance of eVTOLs?

Related:Silicon Anodes: Transforming EV Batteries through Innovative Partnership

Kappers: Silicon-based anodes allow for a much higher efficiency battery, allowing eVTOLs to not only fly further off a single charge but also charge faster and live an overall longer lifecycle. Scrutiny of the flight path of an average eVTOL with an Endurion silicon anode battery and comparisons to more traditional graphite anode batteries will give insights into the exact improvements that can be gained.

The emphasis on eco-friendly manufacturing processes is growing in various industries. How does The Coretec Group incorporate eco-friendly practices in their silicon-anode-based battery technology for eVTOLs, and what environmental benefits does this bring to the entire supply chain?

Kappers: One of the key concerns surrounding lithium-ion batteries is how often they need to be replaced, leading to a potential build-up of unused batteries. Thankfully, Coretec’s silicon-anode solution dramatically extends the life of the battery, meaning there will be far less frequent replacements and, thus far, fewer unused batteries sitting in landfills.