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Rockets, cars, whiskey and now planes? Elon Musk does not seem to set limits on his ambition and the sectors his companies can revolutionize. As the site Automobile Propre explains, the businessman who became the fourth richest person in the world a few days ago, is indeed planning to manufacture batteries for electric planes soon. A promise that would have the potential to revolutionize the airline industry.
It all starts with a remark from Sam Korus, who introduces himself as an analyst at Ark Invest. He noticed that the company Ampirius, specializing in nanotechnology, moved its teams to Fremont, near the Tesla premises. A movement that would not be trivial according to him. The analyst does not hesitate to make the connection between statements of Elon Musk in 2019, which then spoke of an electric plane in four to five years. The boss of Tesla reacted to this remark by revealing his vision of the technology at the same time. "400 Wh / kg with a large number of cycles, produced by volume (not just in the laboratory) is not far away, probably in three to four years." A technical explanation that refers to the density of storable energy required in batteries, without them being penalized by their weight.
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For comparison, the density present in the batteries of Tesla cars is estimated at 250 Wh / kg. The leap forward described by Elon Musk requires new technology, based on anode-less lithium-metal cells. Currently, these cannot exceed 200 cycles, while the target is 1,000.
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The electric plane is already a reality, as we already saw last May. A Cessna 208B Grand Caravan was then able to fly for 28 minutes. The pilot of the aircraft, which has the capacity to carry between 9 and 14 people, was alone at the time of the flight. It is this type of vehicle that will be among the first to be affected by 100% electric equipment. But we will still have to be patient …
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