Tesla Dry Electrode Batteries Will Enable Large Passenger Electric Planes

Elon Musk indicates that electric motors and batteries with over 400 Wh/kg will be able be a cross over point for electric planes against jet fuel planes.

Israeli startup Eviation is making a nine-passenger all-electric regional passenger aircraft by 2021. It will take 9 passengers up to 650 miles at a cruise speed of 240 knots.

Alice uses distributed propulsion with one main pusher propeller at the tail and two pusher propellers at the wingtips to reduce drag, create redundancy, and improve efficiency.

Alice will cost at least four times less per passenger-mile and it can also operate as a drone to transport cargo or to reposition the plane for its next scheduled flight.

Vastly improved batteries could enable all-electric passenger planes for 50-200 passengers and longer ranges. There are many companies working on electric passenger planes.

Tesla completed the purchase of Maxwell Technologies which will give Tesla higher energy density batteries, lower costs for batteries, double battery life and will allow battery factories to have 16 times the production in the same space.

Tesla bought Maxwell Technologies for their dry battery technology. Maxwell has already proved 300 Wh/kg energy density is which 20-40% better than current Tesla batteries. Maxwell has a path with 15-25% improvement every 2-3 years. This should lead to 500 Wh/kg by 2027.

Tesla might be able to get 385 Wh/kg in batteries in 2020.

Tesla could reach $50 per kilowatt-hour with 500 Wh/kg. This would mean half the weight in batteries while producing the same level of energy as the best 250 Wh/kg batteries of today. This would mean $4000 instead of $12000 in batteries for an 80 kWh battery pack.

Maxwell had a 15-page investor presentation from January 16, 2019 from the 21st Annual Needham Growth Conference.

Solid State Batteries Can Compete on Energy Density But Are Six to Ten Years Away

Panasonic has said solid state batteries are ten years away. Volkswagen thinks they can get them by 2025. Fisker has delayed solid-state batteries from 2020 to 2022.

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