Lilium, the well-known German developer of a seven-passenger eVTOL jet, has selected ABB as its partner to provide charging infrastructure for its all-electric aircraft.
Lilium and ABB, a large industrial robotics and technology firm, have formed a partnership in which ABB will begin building the fast-charging infrastructure for Lilium’s planned air taxi network, set to launch in 2024. The ‘MegaWatt’ chargers provided by ABB will fully charge Lilium aircraft batteries in 30 minutes, and charge them to 80% capacity within 15 minutes. These fast charging times will enable Lilium to operate the 20-25 flights per day it plans to complete with each aircraft. Each full charge will enable Lilium jets to travel for about 155 miles, with cruising speeds up to 175mph.
According to the agreement between the two companies, ABB will “develop, test and supply” the MegaWatt fast charging infrastructure. Said Frank Muehlon, President of ABB’s E-mobility Division, “Combining Lilium’s mission to grow sustainable aviation with ABB’s global market expertise and leadership in e-mobility and charging infrastructure is a win for the environment and a win for passengers.”
He continued: “We see this planned partnership as an important commitment to all relevant charging standards that are adopted by multiple electric ‘vehicle’ manufacturers. By supporting the new MegaWatt charging standard, 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.”
Each MegaWatt Charging System (MCS) made by ABB will allow direct current (DC) charging of up to 1000 kW and can also be used for electric heavy-duty vehicles, such as trucks and buses. An MCS unit will be included at every veriport in Lilium’s regional air taxi network, and will adhere to the relevant standards that support interoperability for a variety of vehicles and applications.
Daniel Wiegand, CEO and Co-Founder of Lilium, commented, “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. 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.”
Why it’s important: ABB is an industrial technology firm with decades of expertise in developing transportation infrastructure, and has already had a history of great success in developing charging infrastructure for electric ground vehicles. By teaming up with ABB, Lilium has even more greatly added to its team of transportation industry experts, further setting itself up as one of the top European eVTOL network operators set to launch in the next few years.