ABB E-mobility, a provider of charging solutions for multiple types of electric vehicles, will supply the charging infrastructure for German aerospace Lilium’s seven-seat eVTOL Lilium Jet, the companies have announced jointly.
Lilium’s regional air network will be made up of a series of vertiports, featuring multiple parking bays and high-power ABB charging points.
Lilium aims to launch regional air mobility networks in Florida, Germany, and Brazil starting in 2024. Although the commercial terms of the agreement between the companies has yet to be finalised, ABB intends to develop, test, and provide a MegaWatt Charging System (MCS) that will fully charge the Lilium Jet’s batteries in approximately 30 minutes, and up to 80% in just 15 minutes.
According to Lilium, this will enable an estimated 20 to 25 flights per aircraft per day across its global vertiport network. Although the initial range of the production Lilium Jet is expected to be 155 miles (250 kilometers) at a cruise speed of 175 mph (280 km/h), Lilium has said it expects its trips to average between 60 and 75 miles (95 and 120 km) in length.
The MCS will allow direct current charging of up to 1,000 kW and can also be used for electric trucks and buses. ABB and Lilium said they plan to adhere to the relevant standards that support interoperability, following the lead of CharIN’s MCS Task Force, which was established in 2018 to work out the requirements for a new commercial vehicle high-power charging solution.
“We see this planned partnership as an important commitment to all relevant charging standards that are adopted by multiple electric ‘vehicle’ manufacturers,” states Frank Muehlon, president of ABB’s E-mobility division. By supporting the new MegaWatt charging standard, he adds, “ABB E-mobility is paving the way for the electrification of all modes of transport, from cars and trucks to marine vessels, mining vehicles, and now, aviation”.
“Making sure we have the right charging infrastructure will play a crucial role in enabling our high-speed regional air network by allowing quick and efficient charging,” says Lilium CEO and co-founder Daniel Wiegand. “We are proud to be working with ABB, who bring decades of experience in electrification and software, to set the charging industry standard for electric aviation,” he adds.